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Title: Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 4 (of 6)

Author: Havelock Ellis

Release Date: October 8, 2004  [eBook #13613]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)

VOLUME 4 (OF 6)***

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   Sexual Selection In Man
   I. Touch. Ii. Smell. Iii. Hearing. Iv. Vision.





As in many other of these _Studies_, and perhaps more than in most, the
task attempted in the present volume is mainly of a tentative and
preliminary character. There is here little scope yet for the presentation
of definite scientific results. However it may be in the physical
universe, in the cosmos of science our knowledge must be nebulous before
it constellates into definitely measurable shapes, and nothing is gained
by attempting to anticipate the evolutionary process. Thus it is that
here, for the most part, we have to content ourselves at present with the
task of mapping out the field in broad and general outlines, bringing
together the facts and considerations which indicate the direction in
which more extended and precise results will in the future be probably

In his famous _Descent of Man_, wherein he first set forth the doctrine of
sexual selection, Darwin injured an essentially sound principle by
introducing into it a psychological confusion whereby the physiological
sensory stimuli through which sexual selection operates were regarded as
equivalent to aesthetic preferences. This confusion misled many, and it is
only within recent years (as has been set forth in the "Analysis of the
Sexual Impulse" in the previous volume of these _Studies_) that the
investigations and criticisms of numerous workers have placed the doctrine
of sexual selection on a firm basis by eliminating its hazardous aesthetic
element. Love springs up as a response to a number of stimuli to
tumescence, the object that most adequately arouses tumescence being that
which evokes love; the question of aesthetic beauty, although it develops
on this basis, is not itself fundamental and need not even be consciously
present at all. When we look at these phenomena in their broadest
biological aspects, love is only to a limited extent a response to beauty;
to a greater extent beauty is simply a name for the complexus of stimuli
which most adequately arouses love. If we analyze these stimuli to
tumescence as they proceed from a person of the opposite sex we find that
they are all appeals which must come through the channels of four senses:
touch, smell, hearing, and, above all, vision. When a man or a woman
experiences sexual love for one particular person from among the multitude
by which he or she is surrounded, this is due to the influences of a group
of stimuli coming through the channels of one or more of these senses.
There has been a sexual selection conditioned by sensory stimuli. This is
true even of the finer and more spiritual influences that proceed from one
person to another, although, in order to grasp the phenomena adequately,
it is best to insist on the more fundamental and less complex forms which
they assume. In this sense sexual selection is no longer a hypothesis
concerning the truth of which it is possible to dispute; it is a
self-evident fact. The difficulty is not as to its existence, but as to
the methods by which it may be most precisely measured. It is
fundamentally a psychological process, and should be approached from the
psychological side. This is the reason for dealing with it here. Obscure
as the psychological aspects of sexual selection still remain, they are
full of fascination, for they reveal to us the more intimate sides of
human evolution, of the process whereby man is molded into the shapes we


Carbis Water,

Lelant, Cornwall, England.



The External Sensory Stimuli Affecting Selection in Man. The Four Senses



The Primitive Character of the Skin. Its Qualities. Touch the Earliest
Source of Sensory Pleasure. The Characteristics of Touch. As the Alpha and
Omega of Affection. The Sexual Organs a Special Adaptation of Touch.
Sexual Attraction as Originated by Touch. Sexual Hyperaesthesia to Touch.
The Sexual Associations of Acne.


Ticklishness. Its Origin and Significance. The Psychology of Tickling.
Laughter. Laughter as a Kind of Detumescence. The Sexual Relationships of
Itching. The Pleasure of Tickling. Its Decrease with Age and Sexual


The Secondary Sexual Skin Centres. Orificial Contacts. Cunnilingus and
Fellatio. The Kiss. The Nipples. The Sympathy of the Breasts with the
Primary Sexual Centres. This Connection Operative both through the Nerves
and through the Blood. The Influence of Lactation on the Sexual Centres.
Suckling and Sexual Emotion. The Significance of the Association between
Suckling and Sexual Emotion. The Association as a Cause of Sexual


The Bath. Antagonism of Primitive Christianity to the Cult of the Skin.
Its Cult of Personal Filth. The Reasons which Justified this Attitude. The
World-wide Tendency to Association between Extreme Cleanliness and Sexual
Licentiousness. The Immorality Associated with Public Baths in Europe down
to Modern Times.


Summary. Fundamental Importance of Touch. The Skin the Mother of All the
Other Senses.



The Primitiveness of Smell. The Anatomical Seat of the Olfactory Centres.
Predominance of Smell among the Lower Mammals. Its Diminished Importance
in Man. The Attention Paid to Odors by Savages.


Rise of the Study of Olfaction. Cloquet. Zwaardemaker. The Theory of
Smell. The Classification of Odors. The Special Characteristics of
Olfactory Sensation in Man. Smell as the Sense of Imagination. Odors as
Nervous Stimulants. Vasomotor and Muscular Effects. Odorous Substances as


The Specific Body Odors of Various Peoples. The Negro, etc. The European.
The Ability to Distinguish Individuals by Smell. The Odor of Sanctity. The
Odor of Death. The Odors of Different Parts of the Body. The Appearance of
Specific Odors at Puberty. The Odors of Sexual Excitement. The Odors of
Menstruation. Body Odors as a Secondary Sexual Character. The Custom of
Salutation by Smell. The Kiss. Sexual Selection by Smell. The Alleged
Association between Size of Nose and Sexual Vigor. The Probably Intimate
Relationship between the Olfactory and Genital Spheres. Reflex Influences
from the Nose. Reflex Influences from the Genital Sphere. Olfactory
Hallucinations in Insanity as Related to Sexual States. The Olfactive
Type. The Sense of Smell in Neurasthenic and Allied States. In Certain
Poets and Novelists. Olfactory Fetichism. The Part Played by Olfaction in
Normal Sexual Attraction. In the East, etc. In Modern Europe. The Odor of
the Armpit and its Variations. As a Sexual and General Stimulant. Body
Odors in Civilization Tend to Cause Sexual Antipathy unless some Degree
of Tumescence is Already Present. The Question whether Men or Women are
more Liable to Feel Olfactory Influences. Women Usually more Attentive to
Odors. The Special Interest in Odors Felt by Sexual Inverts.


The Influence of Perfumes. Their Aboriginal Relationship to Sexual Body
Odors. This True even of the Fragrance of Flowers. The Synthetic
Manufacture of Perfumes. The Sexual Effects of Perfumes. Perfumes perhaps
Originally Used to Heighten the Body Odors. The Special Significance of
the Musk Odor. Its Wide Natural Diffusion in Plants and Animals and Man.
Musk a Powerful Stimulant. Its Widespread Use as a Perfume. Peau
d'Espagne. The Smell of Leather and its Occasional Sexual Effects. The
Sexual Influence of the Odors of Flowers. The Identity of many Plant Odors
with Certain Normal and Abnormal Body Odors. The Smell of Semen in this


The Evil Effects of Excessive Olfactory Stimulation. The Symptoms of
Vanillism. The Occasional Dangerous Results of the Odors of Flowers.
Effects of Flowers on the Voice.


The Place of Smell in Human Sexual Selections. It has given Place to the
Predominance of Vision largely because in Civilized Man it Fails to Act at
a Distance. It still Plays a Part by Contributing to the Sympathies or the
Antipathies of Intimate Contact.



The Physiological Basis of Rhythm. Rhythm as a Physiological Stimulus. The
Intimate Relation of Rhythm to Movement. The Physiological Influence of
Music on Muscular Action, Circulation, Respiration, etc. The Place of
Music in Sexual Selection among the Lower Animals. Its Comparatively Small
Place in Courtship among Mammals. The Larynx and Voice in Man. The
Significance of the Pubertal Changes. Ancient Beliefs Concerning the
Influence of Music in Morals, Education and Medicine. Its Therapeutic
Uses. Significance of the Romantic Interest in Music at Puberty. Men
Comparatively Insusceptible to the Specifically Sexual Influence of Music.
Rarity of Sexual Perversions on the Basis of the Sense of Hearing. The
Part of Music in Primitive Human Courtship. Women Notably Susceptible to
the Specifically Sexual Influence of Music and the Voice.


Summary. Why the Influence of Music in Human Sexual Selection is
Comparatively Small.



Primacy of Vision in Man. Beauty as a Sexual Allurement. The Objective
Element in Beauty. Ideals of Feminine Beauty in Various Parts of the
World. Savage Women sometimes Beautiful from European Point of View.
Savages often Admire European Beauty. The Appeal of Beauty to some Extent
Common even to Animals and Man.


Beauty to Some Extent Consists Primitively in an Exaggeration of the
Sexual Characters. The Sexual Organs. Mutilations, Adornments, and
Garments. Sexual Allurement the Original Object of Such Devices. The
Religious Element. Unaesthetic Character of the Sexual Organs. Importance
of the Secondary Sexual Characters. The Pelvis and Hips. Steatopygia.
Obesity. Gait. The Pregnant Woman as a Mediaeval Type of Beauty. The Ideals
of the Renaissance. The Breasts. The Corset. Its Object. Its History.
Hair. The Beard. The Element of National or Racial Type in Beauty. The
Relative Beauty of Blondes and Brunettes. The General European Admiration
for Blondes. The Individual Factors in the Constitution of the Idea of
Beauty. The Love of the Exotic.


Beauty Not the Sole Element in the Sexual Appeal of Vision. Movement. The
Mirror. Narcissism. Pygmalionism. Mixoscopy. The Indifference of Women to
Male Beauty. The Significance of Woman's Admiration of Strength. The
Spectacle of Strength is a Tactile Quality made Visible.


The Alleged Charm of Disparity in Sexual Attraction. The Admiration for
High Stature. The Admiration for Dark Pigmentation. The Charm of Parity.
Conjugal Mating. The Statistical Results of Observation as Regards General
Appearance, Stature, and Pigmentation of Married Couples. Preferential
Mating and Assortative Mating. The Nature of the Advantage Attained by the
Fair in Sexual Selection. The Abhorrence of Incest and the Theories of its
Cause. The Explanation in Reality Simple. The Abhorrence of Incest in
Relation to Sexual Selection. The Limits to the Charm of Parity in
Conjugal Mating. The Charm of Disparity in Secondary Sexual Characters.


Summary of the Conclusions at Present Attainable in Regard to the Nature
of Beauty and its Relation to Sexual Selection.


The Origins of the Kiss.


Histories of Sexual Development.


The External Sensory Stimuli Affecting Selection in Man--The Four Senses

Tumescence--the process by which the organism is brought into the physical
and psychic state necessary to insure conjugation and detumescence--to
some extent comes about through the spontaneous action of internal forces.
To that extent it is analogous to the physical and psychic changes which
accompany the gradual filling of the bladder and precede its evacuation.
But even among animals who are by no means high in the zooelogical scale
the process is more complicated than this. External stimuli act at every
stage, arousing or heightening the process of tumescence, and in normal
human beings it may be said that the process is never completed without
the aid of such stimuli, for even in the auto-erotic sphere external
stimuli are still active, either actually or in imagination.

The chief stimuli which influence tumescence and thus direct sexual choice
come chiefly--indeed, exclusively--through the four senses of touch,
smell, hearing, and sight. All the phenomena of sexual selection, so far
as they are based externally, act through these four senses.[1] The
reality of the influence thus exerted may be demonstrated statistically
even in civilized man, and it has been shown that, as regards, for
instance, eye-color, conjugal partners differ sensibly from the unmarried
persons by whom they are surrounded. When, therefore, we are exploring the
nature of the influence which stimuli, acting through the sensory
channels, exert on the strength and direction of the sexual impulse, we
are intimately concerned with the process by which the actual form and
color, not alone of living things generally, but of our own species, have
been shaped and are still being shaped. At the same time, it is probable,
we are exploring the mystery which underlies all the subtle appreciations,
all the emotional undertones, which are woven in the web of the whole
world as it appeals to us through those sensory passages by which alone it
can reach us. We are here approaching, therefore, a fundamental subject of
unsurpassable importance, a subject which has not yet been accurately
explored save at a few isolated points and one which it is therefore
impossible to deal with fully and adequately. Yet it cannot be passed
over, for it enters into the whole psychology of the sexual instinct.

Of the four senses--touch, smell, hearing, and sight--with which we are
here concerned, touch is the most primitive, and it may be said to be the
most important, though it is usually the last to make its appeal felt.
Smell, which occupies the chief place among many animals, is of
comparatively less importance, though of considerable interest, in man; it
is only less intimate and final than touch. Sight occupies an intermediate
position, and on this account, and also on account of the very great part
played by vision in life generally as well as in art, it is the most
important of all the senses from the human sexual point of view. Hearing,
from the same point of view, is the most remote of all the senses in its
appeal to the sexual impulse, and on that account it is, when it
intervenes, among the first to make its influence felt.


[1] Taste must, I believe, be excluded, for if we abstract the parts of
touch and smell, even in those abnormal sexual acts in which it may seem
to be affected, taste could scarcely have any influence. Most of our
"tasting," as Waller puts it, is done by the nose, which, in man, is in
specially close relationship, posteriorly, with the mouth. There are at
most four taste sensations--sweet, bitter, salt, and sour--if even all of
these are simple tastes. What commonly pass for taste sensations, as shown
by some experiments of G.T.W. Patrick (_Psychological Review_, 1898, p.
160), are the composite results of the mingling of sensations of smell,
touch, temperature, sight, and taste.



The Primitive Character of the Skin--Its Qualities--Touch the Earliest
Source of Sensory Pleasure--The Characteristics of Touch--As the Alpha and
Omega of Affection--The Sexual Organs a Special Adaptation of
Touch--Sexual Attraction as Originated by Touch--Sexual Hyperaesthesia to
Touch--The Sexual Associations of Acne.

We are accustomed to regard the skin as mainly owing its existence to the
need for the protection of the delicate vessels, nerves, viscera, and
muscles underneath. Undoubtedly it performs, and by its tough and elastic
texture is well fitted to perform, this extremely important service. But
the skin is not merely a method of protection against the external world;
it is also a method of bringing us into sensitive contact with the
external world. It is thus, as the organ of touch, the seat of the most
widely diffused sense we possess, and, moreover, the sense which is the
most ancient and fundamental of all--the mother of the other senses.

It is scarcely necessary to insist that the primitive nature of the
sensory function of the skin with the derivative nature of the other
senses, is a well ascertained and demonstrable fact. The lower we descend
in the animal scale, the more varied we find the functions of the skin to
be, and if in the higher animals much of the complexity has disappeared,
that is only because the specialization of the various skin regions into
distinct organs has rendered this complexity unnecessary. Even yet,
however, in man himself the skin still retains, in a more or less latent
condition, much of its varied and primary power, and the analysis of
pathological and even normal phenomena serves to bring these old powers
into clear light.

    Woods Hutchinson (_Studies in Human and Comparative Pathology_,
    1901, Chapters VII and VIII) has admirably set forth the immense
    importance of the skin, as in the first place "a tissue which is
    silk to the touch, the most exquisitely beautiful surface in the
    universe to the eye, and yet a wall of adamant against hostile
    attack. Impervious alike, by virtue of its wonderful responsive
    vitality, to moisture and drought, cold and heat, electrical
    changes, hostile bacteria, the most virulent of poisons and the
    deadliest of gases, it is one of the real Wonders of the World.
    More beautiful than velvet, softer and more pliable than silk,
    more impervious than rubber, and more durable under exposure than
    steel, well-nigh as resistant to electric currents as glass, it
    is one of the toughest and most dangerproof substances in the
    three kingdoms of nature" (although, as this author adds, we
    "hardly dare permit it to see the sunlight or breathe the open
    air"). But it is more than this. It is, as Woods Hutchinson
    expresses it, the creator of the entire body; its embryonic
    infoldings form the alimentary canal, the brain, the spinal cord,
    while every sense is but a specialization of its general organic
    activity. It is furthermore a kind of "skin-heart," promoting the
    circulation by its own energy; it is the great heat-regulating
    organ of the body; it is an excretory organ only second to the
    kidneys, which descend from it, and finally it still remains the
    seat of touch.

    It may be added that the extreme beauty of the skin as a surface
    is very clearly brought out by the inadequacy of the comparisons
    commonly used in order to express its beauty. Snow, marble,
    alabaster, ivory, milk, cream, silk, velvet, and all the other
    conventional similes furnish surfaces which from any point of
    view are incomparably inferior to the skin itself. (Cf. Stratz,
    _Die Schoenheit des Weiblichen Koerpers_, Chapter XII.)

    With reference to the extraordinary vitality of the skin,
    emphasized by Woods Hutchinson, it may be added that, when
    experimenting on the skin with the electric current, Waller found
    that healthy skin showed signs of life ten days or more after
    excision. It has been found also that fragments of skin which
    have been preserved in sterile fluid for even as long as nine
    months may still be successfully transplanted on to the body.
    (_British Medical Journal_, July 19, 1902.)

    Everything indicates, remark Stanley Hall and Donaldson ("Motor
    Sensations in the Skin," _Mind_, 1885), that the skin is "not
    only the primeval and most reliable source of our knowledge of
    the external world or the archaeological field of psychology," but
    a field in which work may shed light on some of the most
    fundamental problems of psychic action. Groos (_Spiele der
    Menschen_, pp. 8-16) also deals with the primitive character of
    touch sensations.

    Touch sensations are without doubt the first of all the sensory
    impressions to prove pleasurable. We should, indeed, expect this
    from the fact that the skin reflexes have already appeared before
    birth, while a pleasurable sensitiveness of the lips is doubtless
    a factor in the child's response to the contact of the maternal
    nipple. Very early memories of sensory pleasure seem to be
    frequently, perhaps most frequently, tactile in character, though
    this fact is often disguised in recollection, owing to tactile
    impression being vague and diffused; there is thus in Elizabeth
    Potwin's "Study of Early Memories" (_Psychological Review_,
    November, 1901) no separate group of tactile memories, and the
    more elaborate investigation by Colegrove ("Individual Memories,"
    _American Journal of Psychology_, January, 1899) yields no
    decisive results under this head. See, however, Stanley Hall's
    valuable study, "Some Aspects of the Early Sense of Self,"
    _American Journal of Psychology_, April, 1898. Kuelpe has a
    discussion of the psychology of cutaneous sensations (_Outlines
    of Psychology_ [English translation], pp. 87 et seq.)

    Harriet Martineau, at the beginning of her _Autobiography_,
    referring to the vivid character of tactile sensations in early
    childhood, remarks, concerning an early memory of touching a
    velvet button, that "the rapture of the sensation was really
    monstrous." And a lady tells me that one of her earliest memories
    at the age of 3 is of the exquisite sensation of the casual
    contact of a cool stone with the vulva in the act of urinating.
    Such sensations, of course, cannot be termed specifically sexual,
    though they help to furnish the tactile basis on which the
    specifically sexual sensations develop.

    The elementary sensitiveness of the skin is shown by the fact
    that moderate excitation suffices to raise the temperature, while
    Heidenhain and others have shown that in animals cutaneous
    stimuli modify the sensibility of the brain cortex, slight
    stimulus increasing excitability and strong stimulus diminishing
    it. Fere has shown that the slight stimulus to the skin furnished
    by placing a piece of metal on the arm or elsewhere suffices to
    increase the output of work with the ergograph. (Fere, _Comptes
    Rendus Societe de Biologie_, July 12, 1902; id., _Pathologic des
    Emotions_, pp. 40 et seq.)

    Fere found that the application of a mustard plaster to the skin,
    or an icebag, or a hot-water bottle, or even a light touch with a
    painter's brush, all exerted a powerful effect in increasing
    muscular work with the ergograph. "The tonic effect of cutaneous
    excitation," he remarks, "throws light on the psychology of the
    caress. It is always the most sensitive parts of the body which
    seek to give or to receive caresses. Many animals rub or lick
    each other. The mucous surfaces share in this irritability of the
    skin. The kiss is not only an expression of feeling; it is a
    means of provoking it. Cataglottism is by no means confined to
    pigeons. The tonic value of cutaneous stimulation is indeed a
    commonly accepted idea. Wrestlers rub their hands or limbs, and
    the hand-shake also is not without its physiological basis.

    "Cutaneous excitations may cause painful sensations to cease. Many
    massage practices which favor work act chiefly as sensorial
    stimulants; on this account many nervous persons cannot abandon
    them, and the Greeks and Romans found in massage not only health,
    but pleasure. Lauder Brunton regards many common manoeuvres, like
    scratching the head and pulling the mustache, as methods of
    dilating the bloodvessels of the brain by stimulating the facial
    nerve. The motor reactions of cutaneous excitations favor this
    hypothesis." (Fere, _Travail et Plaisir_, Chapter XV, "Influence
    des Excitations du Toucher sur le Travail.")

The main characteristics of the primitive sense of touch are its wide
diffusion over the whole body and the massive vagueness and imprecision of
the messages it sends to the brain. This is the reason, why it is, of all
the senses, the least intellectual and the least aesthetic; it is also the
reason why it is, of all the senses, the most-profoundly emotional.
"Touch," wrote Bain in his _Emotions and Will_, "is both the alpha and the
omega of affection," and he insisted on the special significance in this
connection of "tenderness"--a characteristic emotional quality of
affection which is directly founded on sensations of touch. If tenderness
is the alpha of affection, even between the sexes, its omega is to be
found in the sexual embrace, which may be said to be a method of
obtaining, through a specialized organization of the skin, the most
exquisite and intense sensations of touch.

    "We believe nothing is so exciting to the instinct or mere
    passions as the presence of the hand or those tactile caresses
    which mark affection," states the anonymous author of an article
    on "Woman in her Psychological Relations," in the _Journal of
    Psychological Medicine_, 1851. "They are the most general stimuli
    in lower animals. The first recourse in difficulty or danger, and
    the primary solace in anguish, for woman is the bosom of her
    husband or her lover. She seeks solace and protection and repose
    on that part of the body where she herself places the objects of
    her own affection. Woman appears to have the same instinctive
    impulse in this respect all over the world."

It is because the sexual orgasm is founded on a special adaptation and
intensification of touch sensations that the sense of touch generally is
to be regarded as occupying the very first place in reference to the
sexual emotions. Fere, Mantegazza, Penta, and most other writers on this
question are here agreed. Touch sensations constitute a vast gamut for the
expression of affection, with at one end the note of minimum personal
affection in the brief and limited touch involved by the conventional
hand-shake and the conventional kiss, and at the other end the final and
intimate contact in which passion finds the supreme satisfaction of its
most profound desire. The intermediate region has its great significance
for us because it offers a field in which affection has its full scope,
but in which every road may possibly lead to the goal of sexual love. It
is the intimacy of touch contacts, their inevitable approach to the
threshold of sexual emotion, which leads to a jealous and instinctive
parsimony in the contact of skin and skin and to the tendency with the
increased sensitiveness of the nervous system involved by civilization to
restrain even the conventional touch manifestation of ordinary affection
and esteem. In China fathers leave off kissing their daughters while they
are still young children. In England the kiss as an ordinary greeting
between men and women--a custom inherited from classic and early Christian
antiquity--still persisted to the beginning of the eighteenth century. In
France the same custom existed in the seventeenth century, but in the
middle of that century was beginning to be regarded as dangerous,[2] while
at the present time the conventional kiss on the cheek is strictly
differentiated from the kiss on the mouth, which is reserved for lovers.
Touch contacts between person and person, other than those limited and
defined by custom, tend to become either unpleasant--as an undesired
intrusion into an intimate sphere--or else, when occurring between man and
woman at some peculiar moment, they may make a powerful reverberation in
the emotional and more specifically sexual sphere. One man falls in love
with his future wife because he has to carry her upstairs with a sprained
ankle. Another dates his love-story from a romp in which his cheek
accidentally came in contact with that of his future wife. A woman will
sometimes instinctively strive to attract the attention of the man who
appeals to her by a peculiar and prolonged pressure of the hand--the only
touch contact permitted to her. Dante, as Penta has remarked, refers to
"sight or touch" as the two channels through which a woman's love is
revived (_Purgatorio_, VIII, 76). Even the hand-shake of a sympathetic man
is enough in some chaste and sensitive women to produce sexual excitement
or sometimes even the orgasm. The cases in which love arises from the
influence of stimuli coming through the sense of touch are no doubt
frequent, and they would be still more frequent if it were not that the
very proximity of this sense to the sexual sphere causes it to be guarded
with a care which in the case of the other senses it is impossible to
exercise. This intimacy of touch and the reaction against its sexual
approximations leads to what James has called "the _antisexual instinct_,
the instinct of personal isolation, the actual repulsiveness to us of the
idea of intimate contact with most of the persons we meet, especially
those of our own sex." He refers in this connection to the unpleasantness
of the sensation felt on occupying a seat still warm from the body of
another person.[3] The Catholic Church has always recognized the risks of
vuluptuous emotion involved in tactile contacts, and the facility with
which even the most innocent contacts may take on a libidinous

    The following observations were written by a lady (aged 30) who
    has never had sexual relationships: "I am only conscious of a
    very sweet and pleasurable emotion when coming in contact with
    honorable men, and consider that a comparison can be made between
    the idealism of such emotions and those of music, of beauties of
    Nature, and of productions of art. While studying and writing
    articles upon a new subject I came in contact with a specialist,
    who rendered me considerable aid, and, one day, while jointly
    correcting a piece of work, he touched my hand. This produced a
    sweet and pure sensation of thrill through the whole system. I
    said nothing; in fact, was too thrilled for speech; and never to
    this day have shown any responsive action, but for months at
    certain periods, generally twice a month, I have experienced the
    most pleasurable emotions. I have seen this friend twice since,
    and have a curious feeling that I stand on one side of a hedge,
    while he is on the other, and, as neither makes an approach,
    pleasure of the highest kind is experienced, but not allowed to
    go beyond reasonable and health-giving bounds. In some moments I
    feel overcome by a sense of mastery by this man, and yet, feeling
    that any approach would be undignified, some pleasure is
    experienced in restraining and keeping within proper bounds this
    passional emotion. All these thrills of pleasurable emotion
    possess a psychic value, and, so long as the nervous system is
    kept in perfect health, they do not seem to have the power to
    injure, but rather one is able to utilize the passionate emotions
    as weapons for pleasure and work."

    Various parts of the skin surface appear to have special sexual
    sensitiveness, peculiarly marked in many individuals, especially
    women; so that, as Fere remarks (_L'Instinct Sexuel_, second
    edition, 1902, p. 130), contact stimulation of the lips, lobe of
    ear, nape of neck, little finger, knee, etc., may suffice even to
    produce the orgasm. Some sexually hyperaesthetic women, as has
    already been noted, experience this when shaking hands with a man
    who is attractive to them. In some neurotic persons this
    sensibility, as Fere shows, may exist in so morbid a degree that
    even the contact of the sensitive spot with unattractive persons
    or inanimate objects may produce the orgasm. In this connection
    reference may be made to the well-known fact that in some
    hysterical subjects there are so-called "erogenous zones" simple
    pressure on which suffices to evoke the complete orgasm. There
    is, perhaps, some significance, from our present point of view,
    in the fact that, as emphasized by Savill ("Hysterical Skin
    Symptoms," _Lancet_, January 30, 1904), the skin is one of the
    very best places to study hysteria.

    The intimate connection between the skin and the sexual sphere is
    also shown in pathological conditions of the skin, especially in
    acne as well as simple pimples on the face. The sexual
    development of puberty involves a development of hair in various
    regions of the body which previously were hairless. As, however,
    the sebaceous glands on the face and elsewhere are the vestiges
    of former hairs and survive from a period when the whole body was
    hairy, they also tend to experience in an abortive manner this
    same impulse. Thus, we may say that, with the development of the
    sexual organs at puberty, there is correlated excitement of the
    whole pilo-sebaceous apparatus. In the regions where this
    apparatus is vestigial, and notably in the face, this abortive
    attempt of the hair-follicles and their sebaceous appendages to
    produce hairs tends only to disorganization, and simple
    _comedones_ or pustular acne pimples are liable to occur. As a
    rule, acne appears about puberty and dies out slowly during
    adolescence. While fairly common in young women, it is usually
    much less severe, but tends to be exacerbated at the menstrual
    periods; it is also apt to appear at the change of life. (Stephen
    Mackenzie, "The Etiology and Treatment of Acne Vulgaris,"
    _British Medical Journal_, September 29, 1894. Laycock [_Nervous
    Diseases of Women_, 1840, p. 23] pointed out that acne occurs
    chiefly in those parts of the surface covered by sexual hair. A
    lucid account of the origin of acne will be found in Woods
    Hutchinson's _Studies in Human and Comparative Pathology_, pp.
    179-184. G.J. Engelmann ["The Hystero-neuroses," _Gynaecological
    Transactions_, 1887, pp. 124 et seq.] discusses various
    pathological disorders of the skin as reflex disturbances
    originating in the sexual sphere.)

    The influence of menstruation in exacerbating acne has been
    called in question, but it seems to be well established. Thus,
    Bulkley ("Relation between Certain Diseases of the Skin and the
    Menstrual Function," _Transactions of the Medical Society of New
    York_, 1901, p. 328) found that, in 510 cases of acne in women,
    145, or nearly one-third, were worse about the monthly period.
    Sometimes it only appeared during menstruation. The exacerbation
    occurred much more frequently just before than just after the
    period. There was usually some disturbance of menstruation.
    Various other disorders of the skin show a similar relationship
    to menstruation.

    It has been asserted that masturbation is a frequent or constant
    cause of acne at puberty. (See, e.g., discussion in _British
    Medical Journal_, July, 1882.) This cannot be accepted. Acne very
    frequently occurs without masturbation, and masturbation is very
    frequently practiced without producing acne. At the same time we
    may well believe that at the period of puberty, when the
    pilo-sebaceous system is already in sensitive touch with the
    sexual system, the shock of frequently repeated masturbation may
    (in the same way as disordered menstruation) have its
    repercussion on the skin. Thus, a lady has informed me that at
    about the age of 18 she found that frequently repeated
    masturbation was followed by the appearance of _comedones_.


[2] A. Franklin, _Les Soins de Toilette_, p. 81.

[3] W. James, _Principles of Psychology_, vol. ii. p. 347.

[4] Numerous passages from the theologians bearing on this point are
brought together in _Moechialogia_, pp. 221-220.


Ticklishness--Its Origin and Significance--The Psychology of
Tickling--Laughter--Laughter as a Kind of Detumescence--The Sexual
Relationships of Itching--The Pleasure of Tickling--Its Decrease with Age
and Sexual Activity.

Touch, as has already been remarked, is the least intellectual of the
senses. There is, however, one form of touch sensation--that is to say,
ticklishness--which is of so special and peculiar a nature that it has
sometimes been put aside in a class apart from all other touch sensations.
Scaliger proposed to class titillation as a sixth, or separate, sense.
Alrutz, of Upsala, regards tickling as a milder degree of itching, and
considers that the two together constitute a sensation of distinct quality
with distinct end-organs, for the mediation of that quality.[5] However we
may regard this extreme view, tickling is certainly a specialized
modification of touch and it is at the same time the most intellectual
mode of touch sensation and that with the closest connection with the
sexual sphere. To regard tickling as an intellectual manifestation may
cause surprise, more especially when it is remembered that ticklishness is
a form of sensation which reaches full development very early in life, and
it has to be admitted that, as compared even with the messages that may be
sent through smell and taste, the intellectual element in ticklishness
remains small. But its presence here has been independently recognized by
various investigators. Groos points out the psychic factor in tickling as
evidenced by the impossibility of self-tickling.[6] Louis Robinson
considers that ticklishness "appears to be one of the simplest
developments of mechanical and automatic nervous processes in the
direction of the complex functioning of the higher centres which comes
within the scope of psychology,"[7] Stanley Hall and Allin remark that
"these minimal touch excitations represent the very oldest stratum of
psychic life in the soul."[8] Hirman Stanley, in a somewhat similar
manner, pushes the intellectual element in ticklishness very far back and
associates it with "tentacular experience." "By temporary self-extension,"
he remarks, "even low amoeboid organisms have slight, but suggestive,
touch experiences that stimulate very general and violent reactions, and
in higher organisms extended touch-organs, as tentacles, antennae, hair,
etc., become permanent and very delicately sensitive organs, where minimal
contacts have very distinct and powerful reactions." Thus ticklishness
would be the survival of long passed ancestral tentacular experience,
which, originally a stimulation producing intense agitation and alarm, has
now become merely a play activity and a source of keen pleasure.[9]

We need not, however, go so far back in the zooelogical series to explain
the origin and significance of tickling in the human species. Sir J.Y.
Simpson suggested, in an elaborate study of the position of the child in
the womb, that the extreme excitomotory sensibility of the skin in various
regions, such as the sole of the foot, the knee, the sides, which already
exists before birth, has for its object the excitation and preservation of
the muscular movements necessary to keep the foetus in the most favorable
position in the womb.[10] It is, in fact, certainly the case that the
stimulation of all the ticklish regions in the body tends to produce
exactly that curled up position of extreme muscular flexion and general
ovoid shape which is the normal position of the foetus in the womb. We may
well believe that in this early developed reflex activity we have the
basis of that somewhat more complex ticklishness which appears somewhat

The mental element in tickling is indicated by the fact that even a child,
in whom ticklishness is highly developed, cannot tickle himself; so that
tickling is not a simple reflex. This fact was long ago pointed out by
Erasmus Darwin, and he accounted for it by supposing that voluntary
exertion diminishes the energy of sensation.[11] This explanation is,
however, inadmissible, for, although we cannot easily tickle ourselves by
the contact of the skin with our own fingers, we can do so with the aid of
a foreign body, like a feather. We may perhaps suppose that, as
ticklishness has probably developed under the influence of natural
selection as a method of protection against attack and a warning of the
approach of foreign bodies, its end would be defeated if it involved a
simple reaction to the contact of the organism with itself. This need of
protection it is which involves the necessity of a minimal excitation
producing a maximal effect, though the mechanism whereby this takes place
has caused considerable discussion. We may, it is probable, best account
for it by invoking the summation-irradiation theory of pain-pleasure, the
summation of the stimuli in their course through the nerves, aided by
capillary congestion, leading to irradiation due to anastomoses between
the tactile corpuscles, not to speak of the much wider irradiation which
is possible by means of central nervous connections.

    Prof. C.L. Herrick adopts this explanation of the phenomena of
    tickling, and rests it, in part, on Dogiel's study of the tactile
    corpuscles ("Psychological Corollaries of Modern Neurological
    Discoveries," _Journal of Comparative Neurology_, March, 1898).
    The following remarks of Prof. A. Allin may also be quoted in
    further explanation of the same theory: "So far as ticklishness
    is concerned, a very important factor in the production of this
    feeling is undoubtedly that of the summation of stimuli. In a
    research of Stirling's, carried on under Ludwig's direction, it
    was shown that reflex contractions only occur from repeated
    shocks to the nerve-centres--that is, through summation of
    successive stimuli. That this result is also due in some degree
    to an alternating increase in the sensibility of the various
    areas in question from altered supply of blood is reasonably
    certain. As a consequence of this summation-process there would
    result in many cases and in cases of excessive nervous discharge
    the opposite of pleasure, namely: pain. A number of instances
    have been recorded of death resulting from tickling, and there is
    no reason to doubt the truth of the statement that Simon de
    Montfort, during the persecution of the Albigenses, put some of
    them to death by tickling the soles of their feet with a feather.
    An additional causal factor in the production of tickling may lie
    in the nature and structure of the nervous process involved in
    perception in general. According to certain histological
    researches of recent years we know that between the sense-organs
    and the central nervous system there exist closely connected
    chains of conductors or neurons, along which an impression
    received by a single sensory cell on the periphery is propagated
    avalanchelike through an increasing number of neurons until the
    brain is reached. If on the periphery a single cell is excited
    the avalanchelike process continues until finally hundreds or
    thousands of nerve-cells in the cortex are aroused to
    considerable activity. Golgi, Ramon y Cajal, Koelliker, Held,
    Retzius, and others have demonstrated the histological basis of
    this law for vision, hearing, and smell, and we may safely assume
    from the phenomena of tickling that the sense of touch is not
    lacking in a similar arrangement. May not a suggestion be
    offered, with some plausibility, that even in ideal or
    representative tickling, where tickling results, say, from
    someone pointing a finger at the ticklish places, this
    avalanchelike process may be incited from central centres, thus
    producing, although in a modified degree, the pleasant phenomena
    in question? As to the deepest causal factor, I should say that
    tickling is the result of vasomotor shock." (A. Allin, "On
    Laughter," _Psychological Review_, May, 1903.)

The intellectual element in tickling conies out in its connection with
laughter and the sense of the comic, of which it may be said to constitute
the physical basis. While we are not here concerned with laughter and the
comic sense,--a subject which has lately attracted considerable
attention,--it may be instructive to point out that there is more than an
analogy between laughter and the phenomena of sexual tumescence and
detumescence. The process whereby prolonged tickling, with its nervous
summation and irradiation and accompanying hyperaemia, finds sudden relief
in an explosion of laughter is a real example of tumescence--as it has
been defined in the study in another volume entitled "An Analysis of the
Sexual Impulse"--resulting finally in the orgasm of detumescence. The
reality of the connection between the sexual embrace and tickling is
indicated by the fact that in some languages, as in that of the
Fuegians,[12] the same word is applied to both. That ordinary tickling is
not sexual is due to the circumstances of the case and the regions to
which the tickling is applied. If, however, the tickling is applied within
the sexual sphere, then there is a tendency for orgasm to take place
instead of laughter. The connection which, through the phenomena of
tickling, laughter thus bears to the sexual sphere is well indicated, as
Groos has pointed out, by the fact that in sexually-minded people sexual
allusions tend to produce laughter, this being the method by which they
are diverted from the risks of more specifically sexual detumescence.[13]

    Reference has been made to the view of Alrutz, according to which
    tickling is a milder degree of itching. It is more convenient and
    probably more correct to regard itching or pruritus, as it is
    termed in its pathological forms, as a distinct sensation, for it
    does not arise under precisely the same conditions as tickling
    nor is it relieved in the same way. There is interest, however,
    in pointing out in this connection that, like tickling, itching
    has a real parallelism to the specialized sexual sensations.
    Bronson, who has very ably interpreted the sensations of itching
    (New York Neurological Society, October 7, 1890; _Medical News_,
    February 14, 1903, and summarized in the _British Medical
    Journal_, March 7, 1903; and elsewhere), regards it as a
    perversion of the sense of touch, a dysaesthesia due to obstructed
    nerve-excitation with imperfect conduction of the generated force
    into correlated nervous energy. The scratching which relieves
    itching directs the nervous energy into freer channels, sometimes
    substituting for the pruritus either painful or voluptuous
    sensations. Such voluptuous sensations may be regarded as a
    generalized aphrodisiac sense comparable to the specialized
    sexual orgasm. Bronson refers to the significant fact that
    itching occurs so frequently in the sexual region, and states
    that sexual neurasthenia is sometimes the only discoverable cause
    of genital and anal pruritus. (Cf. discussion on pruritus,
    _British Medical Journal_, November 30, 1895.) Gilman, again
    (_American Journal of Psychology_, vi, p. 22), considers that
    scratching, as well as sneezing, is comparable to coitus.

The sexual embrace has an intimate connection with the phenomena of
ticklishness which could not fail to be recognized. This connection is,
indeed, the basis of Spinoza's famous definition of love,--"_Amor est
titillatio quaedam concomitante idea causae externae_,"--a statement which
seems to be reflected in Chamfort's definition of love as "_l'echange de
deux fantaisies, et le contact de deux epidermes_." The sexual act, says
Gowers, is, in fact, a skin reflex.[14] "The sexual parts," Hall and Allin
state, "have a ticklishness as unique as their function and as keen as
their importance." Herrick finds the supreme illustration of the summation
and irradiation theory of tickling in the phenomena of erotic excitement,
and points out that in harmony with this the skin of the sexual region is,
as Dogiel has shown, that portion of the body in which the tactile
corpuscles are most thoroughly and elaborately provided with anastomosing
fibres. It has been pointed out[15] that, when ordinary tactile
sensibility is partially abolished,--especially in hemianaesthesia in the
insane,--some sexual disturbance is specially apt to be found in

In young children, in girls even when they are no longer children, and
occasionally in men, tickling may be a source of acute pleasure, which in
very early life is not sexual, but later tends to become so under
circumstances predisposing to the production of erotic emotion, and
especially when the nervous system is keyed up to a high tone favorable
for the production of the maximum effect of tickling.

    "When young," writes a lady aged 28, "I was extremely fond of
    being tickled, and I am to some extent still. Between the ages of
    10 and 12 it gave me exquisite pleasure, which I now regard as
    sexual in character. I used to bribe my younger sister to tickle
    my feet until she was tired."

    Stanley Hall and Allin in their investigation of the phenomena of
    tickling, largely carried out among young women teachers, found
    that in 60 clearly marked cases ticklishness was more marked at
    one time than another, "as when they have been 'carrying on,' or
    are in a happy mood, are nervous or unwell, after a good meal,
    when being washed, when in perfect health, when with people they
    like, etc." (Hall and Allin, "Tickling and Laughter," _American
    Journal of Psychology_, October, 1897.) It will be observed that
    most of the conditions mentioned are such as would be favorable
    to excitations of an emotionally sexual character.

    The palms of the hands may be very ticklish during sexual
    excitement, especially in women, and Moll (_Kontraere
    Sexualempfindung_, p. 180) remarks that in some men titillation
    of the skin of the back, of the feet, and even of the forehead
    evokes erotic feelings.

    It may be added that, as might be expected, titillation of the
    skin often has the same significance in animals as in man. "In
    some animals," remarks Louis Robinson (art. "Ticklishness,"
    _Dictionary of Psychological Medicine_), "local titillation of
    the skin, though in parts remote from the reproductive organs,
    plainly acts indirectly upon them as a stimulus. Thus, Harvey
    records that, by stroking the back of a favorite parrot (which he
    had possessed for years and supposed to be a male), he not only
    gave the bird gratification,--which was the sole intention of the
    illustrious physiologist,--but also caused it to reveal its sex
    by laying an egg."

The sexual significance of tickling is very clearly indicated by the fact
that the general ticklishness of the body, which is so marked in children
and in young girls, greatly diminishes, as a rule, after sexual
relationships have been established. Dr. Gina Lombroso, who investigated
the cutaneous reflexes, found that both the abdominal and plantar
reflexes, which are well marked in childhood and in young people between
the ages of 15 and 18, were much diminished in older persons, and to a
greater extent in women than in men, to a greater extent in the abdominal
region than on the soles of the feet;[16] her results do not directly show
the influence of sexual relationship, but they have an indirect bearing
which is worth noting.

The difference in ticklishness between the unmarried woman and the married
woman corresponds to their difference in degree of modesty. Both modesty
and ticklishness may be said to be characters which are no longer needed.
From this point of view the general ticklishness of the skin is a kind of
body modesty. It is so even apart from any sexual significance of
tickling, and Louis Robinson has pointed out that in young apes, puppies,
and other like animals the most ticklish regions correspond to the most
vulnerable spots in a fight, and that consequently in the mock fights of
early life skill in defending these spots is attained.

    In Iceland, according to Margarethe Filhes (as quoted by Max
    Bartels, _Zeitschrift fuer Ethnologie_, 1900, ht. 2-3, p. 57), it
    may be known whether a youth is pure or a maid is intact by their
    susceptibility to tickling. It is considered a bad sign if that
    is lost.

    I am indebted to a medical correspondent for the following
    communication: "Married women have told me that they find that
    after marriage they are not ticklish under the arms or on the
    breasts, though before marriage any tickling or touching in these
    regions, especially by a man, would make them jump or get
    hysterical or 'queer,' as they call it. Before coitus the sexual
    energy seems to be dissipated along all the nerve-channels and
    especially along the secondary sexual routes,--the breasts, nape
    of neck, eyebrows, lips, cheeks, armpits, and hair thereon,
    etc.,--but after marriage the surplus energy is diverted from
    these secondary channels, and response to tickling is diminished.
    I have often noted in insane cases, especially mania in
    adolescent girls, that they are excessively ticklish. Again, in
    ordinary routine practice I have observed that, though married
    women show no ticklishness during auscultation and percussion of
    the chest, this is by no means always so in young girls. Perhaps
    ticklishness in virgins is Nature's self-protection against rape
    and sexual advances, and the young girl instinctively wishing to
    hide the armpits, breasts, and other ticklish regions, tucks
    herself up to prevent these parts being touched. The married
    woman, being in love with a man, does not shut up these parts, as
    she reciprocates the advances that he makes; she no longer
    requires ticklishness as a protection against sexual aggression."


[5] Alrutz's views are summarized in _Psychological Review_, Sept., 1901.

[6] _Die Spiele der Menschen_, 1899, p. 206.

[7] L. Robinson, art. "Ticklishness," Tuke's _Dictionary of Psychological

[8] Stanley Hall and Allin, "Tickling and Laughter," _American Journal of
Psychology_, October, 1897.

[9] H.M. Stanley, "Remarks on Tickling and Laughter," _American Journal of
Psychology_, vol. ix, January, 1898.

[10] Simpson, "On the Attitude of the Foetus in Utero," _Obstetric
Memoirs_, 1856, vol. ii.

[11] Erasmus Darwin, _Zooenomia_, Sect. XVII, 4.

[12] Hyades and Deniker, _Mission Scientifique du Cap Horn_, vol. vii. p.

[13] Such an interpretation is supported by the arguments of W. McDougall
("The Theory of Laughter," _Nature_, February 5, 1903), who contends,
without any reference to the sexual field, that one of the objects of
laughter is automatically to "disperse our attention."

[14] Even the structure of the vaginal mucous membrane, it may be noted,
is analogous to that of the skin. D. Berry Hart, "Note on the Development
of the Clitoris, Vagina, and Hymen," _Transactions of the Edinburgh
Obstetrical Society_, vol. xxi, 1896.

[15] W.H.B. Stoddart, "Anaesthesia in the Insane," _Journal of Mental
Science_, October, 1899.

[16] Gina Lombroso, "Sur les Reflexes Cutanes," International Congress of
Criminal Anthropology, Amsterdam, _Comptes Rendus_, p. 295.


The Secondary Sexual Skin Centres--Orificial Contacts--Cunnilingus and
Fellatio--The Kiss--The Nipples--The Sympathy of the Breasts with the
Primary Sexual Centres--This Connection Operative both through the Nerves
and through the Blood--The Influence of Lactation on the Sexual
Centres--Suckling and Sexual Emotion--The Significance of the Association
between Suckling and Sexual Emotion--This Association as a Cause of Sexual

We have seen that the skin generally has a high degree of sensibility,
which frequently tends to be in more or less definite association with the
sexual centres. We have seen also that the central and specific sexual
sensation, the sexual embrace itself, is, in large measure, a specialized
kind of skin reflex. Between the generalized skin sensations and the great
primary sexual centre of sensation there are certain secondary sexual
centres which, on account of their importance, may here be briefly

These secondary centres have in common the fact that they always involve
the entrances and the exits of the body--the regions, that is, where skin
merges into mucous membrane, and where, in the course of evolution,
tactile sensibility has become highly refined. It may, indeed, be said
generally of these frontier regions of the body that their contact with
the same or a similar frontier region in another person of opposite sex,
under conditions otherwise favorable to tumescence, will tend to produce a
minimum and even sometimes a maximum degree of sexual excitation. Contact
of these regions with each other or with the sexual region itself so
closely simulates the central sexual reflex that channels are set up for
the same nervous energy and secondary sexual centres are constituted.

It is important to remember that the phenomena we are here concerned with
are essentially normal. Many of them are commonly spoken of as
perversions. In so far, however, as they are aids to tumescence they must
be regarded as coming within the range of normal variation. They may be
considered unaesthetic, but that is another matter. It has, moreover, to be
remembered that aesthetic values are changed under the influence of sexual
emotion; from the lover's point of view many things are beautiful which
are unbeautiful from the point of view of him who is not a lover, and the
greater the degree to which the lover is swayed by his passion the greater
the extent to which his normal aesthetic standard is liable to be modified.
A broad consideration of the phenomena among civilized and uncivilized
peoples amply suffices to show the fallacy of the tendency, so common
among unscientific writers on these subjects, to introduce normal aesthetic
standards into the sexual sphere. From the normal standpoint of ordinary
daily life, indeed, the whole process of sex is unaesthetic, except the
earlier stages of tumescence.[17]

So long as they constitute a part of the phase of tumescence, the
utilization of the sexual excitations obtainable through these channels
must be considered within the normal range of variation, as we may
observe, indeed, among many animals. When, however, such contacts of the
orifices of the body, other than those of the male and female sexual
organs proper, are used to procure not merely tumescence, but
detumescence, they become, in the strict and technical sense, perversions.
They are perversions in exactly the same sense as are the methods of
intercourse which involve the use of checks to prevent fecundation. The
aesthetic question, however, remains the same as if we were dealing with
tumescence. It is necessary that this should be pointed out clearly, even
at the risk of misapprehension, as confusions are here very common.

    The essentially sexual character of the sensitivity of the
    orificial contacts is shown by the fact that it may sometimes be
    accidentally developed even in early childhood. This is well
    illustrated in a case recorded by Fere. A little girl of 4, of
    nervous temperament and liable to fits of anger in which she
    would roll on the ground and tear her clothes, once ran out into
    the garden in such a fit of temper and threw herself on the lawn
    in a half-naked condition. As she lay there two dogs with whom
    she was accustomed to play came up and began to lick the
    uncovered parts of the body. It so happened that as one dog
    licked her mouth the other licked her sexual parts. She
    experienced a shock of intense sensation which she could never
    forget and never describe, accompanied by a delicious tension of
    the sexual organs. She rose and ran away with a feeling of shame,
    though she could not comprehend what had happened. The impression
    thus made was so profound that it persisted throughout life and
    served as the point of departure of sexual perversions, while the
    contact of a dog's tongue with her mouth alone afterward sufficed
    to evoke sexual pleasure. (Fere, _Archives de Neurologie_, 1903,
    No. 90.)

    I do not purpose to discuss here either _cunnilingus_ (the
    apposition of the mouth to the female pudendum) or _fellatio_
    (the apposition of the mouth to the male organ), the agent in the
    former case being, in normal heterosexual relationships, a man,
    in the latter a woman; they are not purely tactile phenomena, but
    involve various other physical and psychic elements.
    _Cunnilingus_ was a very familiar manifestation in classic times,
    as shown by frequent and mostly very contemptuous references in
    Aristophanes, Juvenal, and many other Greek and Roman writers;
    the Greeks regarded it as a Phoenician practice, just as it is
    now commonly considered French; it tends to be especially
    prevalent at all periods of high civilization. _Fellatio_ has
    also been equally well known, in both ancient and modern times,
    especially as practiced by inverted men. It may be accepted that
    both _cunnilingus_ and _fellatio_, as practiced by either sex,
    are liable to occur among healthy or morbid persons, in
    heterosexual or homosexual relationships. They have little
    psychological significance, except to the extent that when
    practiced to the exclusion of normal sexual relationships they
    become perversions, and as such tend to be associated with
    various degenerative conditions, although such associations are
    not invariable.

    The essentially normal character of _cunnilingus_ and _fellatio_,
    when occurring as incidents in the process of tumescence, is
    shown by the fact that they are practiced by many animals. This
    is the case, for instance, among dogs. Moll points out that not
    infrequently the bitch, while under the dog, but before
    intromission, will change her position to lick the dog's
    penis--apparently from an instinctive impulse to heighten her own
    and his excitement--and then return to the normal position, while
    _cunnilingus_ is of constant occurrence among animals, and on
    account of its frequency among dogs was called by the Greeks
    skylax (Rosenbaum, _Geschichte der Lustseuche im Altertume_,
    fifth edition, pp. 260-278; also notes in Moll, _Untersuchungen
    ueber pie Libido Sexualis_, Bd. I, pp. 134, 369; and Bloch,
    _Beitraege zur AEtiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil II, pp.
    216 et seq.)

    The occurrence of _cunnilingus_ as a sexual episode of tumescence
    among lower human races is well illustrated by a practice of the
    natives of the Caroline Islands (as recorded by Kubary in his
    ethnographic study of this people and quoted by Ploss and
    Bartels, _Das Weib_, vol. i). It is here customary for a man to
    place a piece of fish between the labia, while he stimulates the
    latter by his tongue and teeth until under stress of sexual
    excitement the woman urinates; this is regarded as an indication
    that the proper moment for intercourse has arrived. Such a
    practice rests on physiologically sound facts whatever may be
    thought of it from an aesthetic standpoint.

    The contrast between the normal aesthetic standpoint in this
    matter and the lover's is well illustrated by the following
    quotations: Dr. A.B. Holder, in the course of his description of
    the American Indian _bote_, remarks, concerning _fellatio_: "Of
    all the many varieties of sexual perversion, this, it seems to
    me, is the most debased that could be conceived of." On the other
    hand, in a communication from a writer and scholar of high
    intellectual distinction occurs the statement: "I affirm that, of
    all sexual acts, _fellatio_ is most an affair of imagination and
    sympathy." It must be pointed out that there is no contradiction
    in these two statements, and that each is justified, according as
    we take the point of view of the ordinary onlooker or of the
    impassioned lover eager to give a final proof of his or her
    devotion. It must be added that from a scientific point of view
    we are not entitled to take either side.

Of the whole of this group of phenomena, the most typical and the most
widespread example is certainly the kiss. We have in the lips a highly
sensitive frontier region between skin and mucous membrane, in many
respects analogous to the vulvo-vaginal orifice, and reinforcible,
moreover, by the active movements of the still more highly sensitive
tongue. Close and prolonged contact of these regions, therefore, under
conditions favorable to tumescence sets up a powerful current of nervous
stimulation. After those contacts in which the sexual regions themselves
take a direct part, there is certainly no such channel for directing
nervous force into the sexual sphere as the kiss. This is nowhere so well
recognized as in France, where a young girl's lips are religiously kept
for her lover, to such an extent, indeed, that young girls sometimes come
to believe that the whole physical side of love is comprehended in a kiss
on the mouth; so highly intelligent a woman as Madam Adam has described
the agony she felt as a girl when kissed on the lips by a man, owing to
the conviction that she had thereby lost her virtue. Although the lips
occupy this highly important position as a secondary sexual focus
in the sphere of touch, the kiss is--unlike _cunnilingus_ and
_fellatio_--confined to man and, indeed, to a large extent, to civilized
man. It is the outcome of a compound evolution which had its beginning
outside the sphere of touch, and it would therefore be out of place to
deal with the interesting question of its development in this place. It
will be discussed elsewhere.[18]

There is yet another orificial frontier region which is a highly important
tactile sexual focus: the nipple. The breasts raise, indeed, several
interesting questions in their intimate connection with the sexual sphere
and it may be worth while to consider them at this point.

The breasts have from the present point of view this special significance
among the sexual centres that they primarily exist, not for the contact of
the lover, but the contact of the child. This is doubtless, indeed, the
fundamental fact on which all the touch contacts we are here concerned
with have grown up. The sexual sensitivity of the lover's lips to
orificial contacts has been developed from the sensitivity of the infant's
lips to contact with his mother's nipple. It is on the ground of that
evolution that we are bound to consider here the precise position of the
breasts as a sexual centre.

As the great secreting organs of milk, the function of the breasts must
begin immediately the child is cut off from the nutrition derived from
direct contact with his mother's blood. It is therefore essential that the
connection between the sexual organs proper, more especially the womb, and
the breasts should be exceedingly intimate, so that the breasts may be in
a condition to respond adequately to the demand of the child's sucking
lips at the earliest moment after birth. As a matter of fact, this
connection is very intimate, so intimate that it takes place in two
totally distinct ways--by the nervous system and by the blood.

    The breasts of young girls sometimes become tender at puberty in
    sympathy with the evolution of the sexual organs, although the
    swelling of the breasts at this period is not normally a
    glandular process. At the recurring periods of menstruation,
    again, sensations in the breasts are not uncommon.

    It is not, however, until impregnation occurs that really
    decisive changes take place in the breasts. "As soon as the ovum
    is impregnated, that is to say within a few days," as W.D.A.
    Griffith states it ("The Diagnosis of Pregnancy," _British
    Medical Journal_, April 11, 1903), "the changes begin to occur in
    the breast, changes which are just as well worked out as are the
    changes in the uterus and the vagina, which, from the
    commencement of pregnancy, prepare for the labor which ought to
    follow nine months afterward. These are changes in the direction
    of marked activity of function. An organ which was previously
    quite passive, without activity of circulation and the effects of
    active circulation, begins to grow and continues to grow in
    activity and size as pregnancy progresses."

    The association between breasts and womb is so obvious that it
    has not escaped many savage peoples, who are often, indeed,
    excellent observers. Among one primitive people at least the
    activity of the breast at impregnation seems to be clearly
    recognized. The Sinangolo of British New Guinea, says Seligmann
    (_Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, July-December, 1902,
    p. 298) believe that conception takes place in the breasts; on
    this account they hold that coitus should never take place before
    the child is weaned or he might imbibe semen with the milk.

    It is natural to assume that this connection between the activity
    of the womb and the glandular activity of the breasts is a
    nervous connection, by means of the spinal cord, and such a
    connection certainly exists and plays a very important part in
    the stimulating action of the breasts on the sexual organs. But
    that there is a more direct channel of communication even than
    the nervous system is shown by the fact that the secretion of
    milk will take place at parturition, even when the nervous
    connection has been destroyed. Mironoff found that, when the
    mammary gland is completely separated from the central nervous
    system, secretion, though slightly diminished, still continued.
    In two goats he cut the nerves shortly before parturition and
    after birth the breasts still swelled and functioned normally
    (_Archives des Sciences Biologiques_, St. Petersburg, 1895,
    summarized in _L'Annee Biologique_; 1895, p. 329). Ribbert,
    again, cut out the mammary gland of a young rabbit and
    transplanted it into the ear; five months after the rabbit bore
    young and the gland secreted milk freely. The case has been
    reported of a woman whose spinal cord was destroyed by an
    accident at the level of the fifth and sixth dorsal vertebrae,
    yet lactation was perfectly normal (_British Medical Journal_,
    August 5, 1899, p. 374). We are driven to suppose that there is
    some chemical change in the blood, some internal secretion from
    the uterus or the ovaries, which acts as a direct stimulant to
    the breasts. (See a comprehensive discussion of the phenomena of
    the connection between the breasts and sexual organs, though the
    conclusions are not unassailable, by Temesvary, _Journal of
    Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the British Empire_, June, 1903).
    That this hypothetical secretion starts from the womb rather than
    the ovaries seems to be indicated by the fact that removal of
    both ovaries during pregnancy will not suffice to prevent
    lactation. In favor of the ovaries, see Beatson, _Lancet_, July,
    1896; in favor of the uterus, Armand Routh, "On the Interaction
    between the Ovaries and the Mammary Glands," _British Medical
    Journal_, September 30, 1899.

While, however, the communications from the sexual organs to the breast
are of a complex and at present ill understood character, the
communication from the breasts to the sexual organs is without doubt
mainly and chiefly nervous. When the child is put to the breast after
birth the suction of the nipple causes a reflex contraction of the womb,
and it is held by many, though not all, authorities that in a woman who
does not suckle her child there is some risk that the womb will not return
to its normal involuted size. It has also been asserted that to put a
child to the breast during the early months of pregnancy causes so great a
degree of uterine contraction that abortion may result.

    Freund found in Germany that stimulation of the nipples by an
    electrical cupping apparatus brought about contraction of the
    pregnant uterus. At an earlier period it was recommended to
    irritate the nipple in order to excite the uterus to parturient
    action. Simpson, while pointing out that this was scarcely
    adequate to produce the effect desired, thought that placing a
    child to the breast after labor had begun might increase uterine
    action. (J.Y. Simpson, _Obstetric Memoirs_, vol. i, p. 836; also
    Fere, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, second edition, p. 132).

    The influence of lactation over the womb in preventing the return
    of menstruation during its continuance is well known. According
    to Remfry's investigation of 900 cases in England, in 57 per
    cent. of cases there is no menstruation during lactation. (L.
    Remfry, in paper read before Obstetrical Society of London,
    summarized in the _British Medical Journal_, January 11, 1896, p.
    86). Bendix, in Germany, found among 140 cases that in about 40
    per cent. there was no menstruation during lactation (paper read
    before Duesseldorf meeting of the Society of German Naturalists
    and Physicians, 1899). When the child is not suckled menstruation
    tends to reappear about six months after parturition.

    It is possible that the divergent opinions of authorities
    concerning the necessarily favorable influence of lactation in
    promoting the return of the womb to its normal size may be due to
    a confusion of two distinct influences: the reflex action of the
    nipple on the womb and the effects of prolonged glandular
    secretion of the breasts in debilitated persons. The act of
    suckling undoubtedly tends to promote uterine contraction, and in
    healthy women during lactation the womb may even (according to
    Vineberg) be temporarily reduced to a smaller size than before
    impregnation, thus producing what is known as "lactation
    atrophy." In debilitated women, however, the strain of
    milk-production may lead to general lack of muscular tone, and
    involution of the womb thus be hindered rather than aided by

On the objective side, then, the nipple is to be regarded as an erectile
organ, richly supplied with nerves and vessels, which, under the
stimulation of the infant's lips--or any similar compression, and even
under the influence of emotion or cold,--becomes firm and projects, mainly
as a result of muscular contraction; for, unlike the penis and the
clitoris, the nipple contains no true erectile tissue and little capacity
for vascular engorgement.[19] We must then suppose that an impetus tends
to be transmitted through the spinal cord to the sexual organs, setting up
a greater or less degree of nervous and muscular excitement with uterine
contraction. These being the objective manifestations, what manifestations
are to be noted on the subjective side?

It is a remarkable proof of the general indifference with which in Europe
even the fairly constant and prominent characteristics of the psychology
of women have been treated until recent times that, so far as I am
aware,--though I have made no special research to this end,--no one before
the end of the eighteenth century had recorded the fact that the act of
suckling tends to produce in women voluptuous sexual emotions. Cabanis in
1802, in the memoir on "Influence des Sexes" in his _Rapports du Physique
et du Moral de l'Homme_, wrote that several suckling women had told him
that the child in sucking the breast made them experience a vivid
sensation of pleasure, shared in some degree by the sexual organs. There
can be no doubt that in healthy suckling women this phenomenon is
exceedingly common, though in the absence of any methodical and precise
investigation it cannot be affirmed that it is experienced by every woman
in some degree, and it is highly probable that this is not the case. One
lady, perfectly normal, states that she has had stronger sexual feelings
in suckling her children than she has ever experienced with her husband,
but that so far as possible she has tried to repress them, as she regards
them as brutish under these circumstances. Many other women state
generally that suckling is the most delicious physical feeling they have
ever experienced. In most cases, however, it does not appear to lead to a
desire for intercourse, and some of those who make this statement have no
desire for coitus during lactation, though they may have strong sexual
needs at other times. It is probable that this corresponds to the normal
condition, and that the voluptuous sensations aroused by suckling are
adequately gratified by the child. It may be added that there are probably
many women who could say, with a lady quoted by Fere,[20] that the only
real pleasures of sex they have ever known are those derived from their
suckling infants.

It is not difficult to see why this normal association of sexual emotion
with suckling should have come about. It is essential for the preservation
of the lives of young mammals that the mothers should have an adequate
motive in pleasurable sensation for enduring the trouble of suckling. The
most obvious method for obtaining the necessary degree of pleasurable
sensation lay in utilizing the reservoir of sexual emotion, with which
channels of communication might already be said to be open through the
action of the sexual organs on the breasts during pregnancy. The
voluptuous element in suckling may thus be called a merciful provision of
Nature for securing the maintenance of the child.

    Cabanis seems to have realized the significance of this
    connection as the basis of the sympathy between mother and child,
    and more recently Lombroso and Ferrero have remarked (_La Donna
    Delinquente_, p. 438) on the fact that maternal love has a sexual
    basis in the element of venereal pleasure, though usually
    inconsiderable, experienced during suckling. Houzeau has referred
    to the fact that in the majority of animals the relation between
    mother and offspring is only close during the period of
    lactation, and this is certainly connected with the fact that it
    is only during lactation that the female animal can derive
    physical gratification from her offspring. When living on a farm
    I have ascertained that cows sometimes, though not frequently,
    exhibit slight signs of sexual excitement, with secretion of
    mucus, while being milked; so that, as the dairymaid herself
    observed, it is as if they were being "bulled." The sow, like
    some other mammals, often eats her own young after birth,
    mistaking them, it is thought, for the placenta, which is
    normally eaten by most mammals; it is said that the sow never
    eats her young when they have once taken the teat.

    It occasionally happens that this normal tendency for suckling to
    produce voluptuous sexual emotions is present in an extreme
    degree, and may lead to sexual perversions. It does not appear
    that the sexual sensations aroused by suckling usually culminate
    in the orgasm; this however, was noted in a case recorded by
    Fere, of a slightly neurotic woman in whom intense sexual
    excitement occurred during suckling, especially if prolonged; so
    far as possible, she shortened the periods of suckling in order
    to prevent, not always successfully, the occurrence of the orgasm
    (Fere, _Archives de Neurologie_ No. 30, 1903). Icard refers to
    the case of a woman who sought to become pregnant solely for the
    sake of the voluptuous sensations she derived from suckling, and
    Yellowlees (Art. "Masturbation," _Dictionary of Psychological
    Medicine_) speaks of the overwhelming character of "the storms of
    sexual feeling sometimes observed during lactation."

    It may be remarked that the frequency of the association between
    lactation and the sexual sensations is indicated by the fact
    that, as Savage remarks, lactational insanity is often
    accompanied by fancies regarding the reproductive organs.

When we have realized the special sensitivity of the orificial regions and
the peculiarly close relationships between the breasts and the sexual
organs we may easily understand the considerable part which they normally
play in the art of love. As one of the chief secondary sexual characters
in women, and one of her chief beauties, a woman's breasts offer
themselves to the lover's lips with a less intimate attraction than her
mouth only because the mouth is better able to respond. On her side, such
contact is often instinctively desired. Just as the sexual disturbance of
pregnancy is accompanied by a sympathetic disturbance in the breasts, so
the sexual excitement produced by the lover's proximity reacts on the
breasts; the nipple becomes turgid and erect in sympathy with the
clitoris; the woman craves to place her lover in the place of the child,
and experiences a sensation in which these two supreme objects of her
desire are deliciously mingled.

    The powerful effect which stimulation of the nipple produces on
    the sexual sphere has led to the breasts playing a prominent part
    in the erotic art of those lands in which this art has been most
    carefully cultivated. Thus in India, according to Vatsyayana,
    many authors are of the opinion that in approaching a woman a
    lover should begin by sucking the nipples of her breasts, and in
    the songs of the Bayaderes of Southern India sucking the nipple
    is mentioned as one of the natural preliminaries of coitus.

    In some cases, and more especially in neurotic persons, the
    sexual pleasure derived from manipulation of the nipple passes
    normal limits and, being preferred even to coitus, becomes a
    perversion. In girls' schools, it is said, especially in France,
    sucking and titillation of the breasts are not uncommon; in men,
    also, titillation of the nipples occasionally produces sexual
    sensations (Fere, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, second edition, p. 132).
    Hildebrandt recorded the case of a young woman whose nipples had
    been sucked by her lover; by constantly drawing her breasts she
    became able to suck them herself and thus attained extreme sexual
    pleasure. A.J. Bloch, of New Orleans, has noted the case of a
    woman who complained of swelling of the breasts; the gentlest
    manipulation produced an orgasm, and it was found that the
    swelling had been intentionally produced for the sake of this
    manipulation. Moraglia in Italy knew a very beautiful woman who
    was perfectly cold in normal sexual relationships, but madly
    excited when her husband pressed or sucked her breasts. Lombroso
    (_Archivio di Psichiatria_, 1885, fasc. IV) has described the
    somewhat similar case of a woman who had no sexual sensitivity in
    the clitoris, vagina, or labia, and no pleasure in coitus except
    in very strange positions, but possessed intense sexual feelings
    in the right nipple as well as in the upper third of the thigh.

    It is remarkable that not only is suckling apt to be accompanied
    by sexual pleasure in the mother, but that, in some cases, the
    infant also appears to have a somewhat similar experience. This
    is, at all events, indicated in a remarkable case recorded by
    Fere (_L'Instinct Sexuel_, second edition, p. 257). A female
    infant child of slightly neurotic heredity was weaned at the age
    of 14 months, but so great was her affection for her mother's
    breasts, though she had already become accustomed to other food,
    that this was only accomplished with great difficulty and by
    allowing her still to caress the naked breasts several times a
    day. This went on for many months, when the mother, becoming
    again pregnant, insisted on putting an end to it. So jealous was
    the child, however, that it was necessary to conceal from her the
    fact that her younger sister was suckled at her mother's breasts,
    and once at the age of 3, when she saw her father aiding her
    mother to undress, she became violently jealous of him. This
    jealousy, as well as the passion for her mother's breasts,
    persisted to the age of puberty, though she learned to conceal
    it. At the age of 13, when menstruation began, she noticed in
    dancing with her favorite girl friends that when her breasts came
    in contact with theirs she experienced a very agreeable
    sensation, with erection of the nipples; but it was not till the
    age of 16 that she observed that the sexual region took part in
    this excitement and became moist. From this period she had erotic
    dreams about young girls. She never experienced any attraction
    for young men, but eventually married; though having much esteem
    and affection for her husband, she never felt any but the
    slightest sexual enjoyment in his arms, and then only by evoking
    feminine images. This case, in which the sensations of an infant
    at the breast formed the point of departure of a sexual
    perversion which lasted through life, is, so far as I am aware,


[17] Jonas Cohn (_Allgemeine AEsthetik_, 1901, p. 11) lays it down that
psychology has nothing to do with good or bad taste. "The distinction
between good and bad taste has no meaning for psychology. On this account,
the fundamental conceptions of aesthetics cannot arise from psychology." It
may be a question whether this view can be accepted quite absolutely.

[18] See Appendix A: "The Origins of the Kiss."

[19] See J.B. Hellier, "On the Nipple Reflex," _British Medical Journal_,
November 7, 1896.

[20] Fere, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, second edition, p. 147.


The Bath--Antagonism of Primitive Christianity to the Cult of the
Skin--Its Cult of Personal Filth--The Reasons which Justified this
Attitude--The World-wide Tendency to Association between Extreme
Cleanliness and Sexual Licentiousness--The Immorality Associated with
Public Baths in Europe down to Modern Times.

The hygiene of the skin, as well as its special cult, consists in bathing.
The bath, as is well known, attained under the Romans a degree of
development which, in Europe at all events, it has never reached before or
since, and the modern visitor to Rome carries away with him no more
impressive memory than that of the Baths of Caracalla. Since the coming of
Christianity the cult of the skin, and even its hygiene, have never again
attained the same general and unquestioned exaltation. The Church killed
the bath. St. Jerome tells us with approval that when the holy Paula noted
that any of her nuns were too careful in this matter she would gravely
reprove them, saying that "the purity of the body and its garments means
the impurity of the soul."[21] Or, as the modern monk of Mount Athos still
declares: "A man should live in dirt as in a coat of mail, so that his
soul may sojourn more securely within."

    Our knowledge of the bathing arrangements of Roman days is
    chiefly derived from Pompeii. Three public baths (two for both
    men and women, who were also probably allowed to use the third
    occasionally) have so far been excavated in this small town, as
    well as at least three private bathing establishments (at least
    one of them for women), while about a dozen houses contain
    complete baths for private use. Even in a little farm house at
    Boscoreale (two miles out of Pompeii) there was an elaborate
    series of bathing rooms. It may be added that Pompeii was well
    supplied with water. All houses but the poorest had flowing
    jets, and some houses had as many as ten jets. (See Man's
    _Pompeii_, Chapters XXVI-XXVIII.)

    The Church succeeded to the domination of imperial Rome, and
    adopted many of the methods of its predecessor. But there could
    be no greater contrast than is presented by the attitude of
    Paganism and of Christianity toward the bath.

    As regards the tendencies of the public baths in imperial Rome,
    some of the evidence is brought together in the section on this
    subject in Rosenbaum's _Geschichte der Lustseuche im Alterthume_.
    As regards the attitude of the earliest Christian ascetics in
    this matter I may refer the reader to an interesting passage in
    Lecky's _History of European Morals_ (vol. ii, pp. 107-112), in
    which are brought together a number of highly instructive
    examples of the manner in which many of the most eminent of the
    early saints deliberately cultivated personal filth.

    In the middle ages, when the extreme excesses of the early
    ascetics had died out, and monasticiam became regulated, monks
    generally took two baths a year when in health; in illness they
    could be taken as often as necessary. The rules of Cluny only
    allowed three towels to the community: one for the novices, one
    for the professed, and one for the lay brothers. At the end of
    the seventeenth century Madame de Mazarin, having retired to a
    convent of Visitandines, one day desired to wash her feet, but
    the whole establishment was set in an uproar at such an idea, and
    she received a direct refusal. In 1760 the Dominican Richard
    wrote that in itself the bath is permissible, but it must be
    taken solely for necessity, not for pleasure. The Church taught,
    and this lesson is still inculcated in convent schools, that it
    is wrong to expose the body even to one's own gaze, and it is not
    surprising that many holy persons boasted that they had never
    even washed their hands. (Most of these facts have been taken
    from A. Franklin, _Les Soins de Toilette_, one of the _Vie Privee
    d'Autrefois_ series, in which further details may be found.)

    In sixteenth-century Italy, a land of supreme elegance and
    fashion, superior even to France, the conditions were the same,
    and how little water found favor even with aristocratic ladies we
    may gather from the contemporary books on the toilet, which
    abound with recipes against itch and similar diseases. It should
    be added that Burckhardt (_Die Cultur der Renaissance in
    Italien_, eighth edition, volume ii, p. 92) considers that in
    spite of skin diseases the Italians of the Renaissance were the
    first nation in Europe for cleanliness.

    It is unnecessary to consider the state of things in other
    European countries. The aristocratic conditions of former days
    are the plebeian conditions of to-day. So far as England is
    concerned, such documents as Chadwick's _Report on the Sanitary
    Condition of the Laboring Population of Great Britain_ (1842)
    sufficiently illustrate the ideas and the practices as regards
    personal cleanliness which prevailed among the masses during the
    nineteenth century and which to a large extent still prevail.

A considerable amount of opprobrium has been cast upon the Catholic Church
for its direct and indirect influence in promoting bodily uncleanliness.
Nietzsche sarcastically refers to the facts, and Mr. Frederick Harrison
asserts that "the tone of the middle ages in the matter of dirt was a form
of mental disease." It would be easy to quote many other authors to the
same effect.

It is necessary to point out, however, that the writers who have committed
themselves to such utterances have not only done an injustice to
Christianity, but have shown a lack of historical insight. Christianity
was essentially and fundamentally a rebellion against the classic world,
against its vices, and against their concomitant virtues, against both its
practices and its ideals. It sprang up in a different part of the
Mediterranean basin, from a different level of culture; it found its
supporters in a new and lower social stratum. The cult of charity,
simplicity, and faith, while not primarily ascetic, became inevitably
allied with asceticism, because from its point of view: sexuality was the
very stronghold of the classic world. In the second century the genius of
Clement of Alexandria and of the great Christian thinkers who followed him
seized on all those elements in classic life and philosophy which could be
amalgamated with Christianity without, as they trusted, destroying its
essence, but in the matter of sexuality there could be no compromise, and
the condemnation of sexuality involved the condemnation of the bath. It
required very little insight and sagacity for the Christians to
see--though we are now apt to slur over the fact--that the cult of the
bath was in very truth the cult of the flesh.[22] However profound their
ignorance of anatomy, physiology, and psychology might be, they had
before them ample evidence to show that the skin is an outlying sexual
zone and that every application which promoted the purity, brilliance, and
healthfulness of the skin constituted a direct appeal, feeble or strong as
the case might be, to those passions against which they were warring. The
moral was evident: better let the temporary garment of your flesh be
soaked with dirt than risk staining the radiant purity of your immortal
soul. If Christianity had not drawn that moral with clear insight and
relentless logic Christianity would never have been a great force in the

    If any doubt is felt as to the really essential character of the
    connection between cleanliness and the sexual impulse it may be
    dispelled by the consideration that the association is by no
    means confined to Christian Europe. If we go outside Europe and
    even Christendom altogether, to the other side of the world, we
    find it still well marked. The wantonness of the luxurious people
    of Tahiti when first discovered by European voyagers is
    notorious. The Areoi of Tahiti, a society largely constituted on
    a basis of debauchery, is a unique institution so far as
    primitive peoples are concerned. Cook, after giving one of the
    earliest descriptions of this society and its objects at Tahiti
    (Hawkesworth, _An Account of Voyages_, etc., 1775, vol. ii, p.
    55), immediately goes on to describe the extreme and scrupulous
    cleanliness of the people of Tahiti in every respect; they not
    only bathed their bodies and clothes every day, but in all
    respects they carried cleanliness to a higher point than even
    "the politest assembly in Europe." Another traveler bears similar
    testimony: "The inhabitants of the Society Isles are, among all
    the nations of the South Seas, the most cleanly; and the better
    sort of them carry cleanliness to a very great length"; they
    bathe morning and evening in the sea, he remarks, and afterward
    in fresh water to remove the particles of salt, wash their hands
    before and after meals, etc. (J.R. Forster, "_Observations made
    during a Voyage round the World_," 1798, p. 398.) And William
    Ellis, in his detailed description of the people of Tahiti
    (_Polynesian Researches_, 1832, vol. i, especially Chapters VI
    and IX), while emphasizing their extreme cleanliness, every
    person of every class bathing at least once or twice a day,
    dwells on what he considers their unspeakable moral debasement;
    "notwithstanding the apparent mildness of their disposition and
    the cheerful vivacity of their conversation, no portion of the
    human race was ever perhaps sunk lower in brutal licentiousness
    and moral degradation."

    After leaving Tahiti Cook went on to New Zealand. Here he found
    that the people were more virtuous than at Tahiti, and also, he
    found, less clean.

It is, however, a mistake to suppose that physical uncleanliness ruled
supreme through mediaeval and later times. It is true that the eighteenth
century, which saw the birth of so much that marks our modern world,
witnessed a revival of the old ideal of bodily purity. But the struggle
between two opposing ideals had been carried on for a thousand years or
more before this. The Church, indeed, was in this matter founded on an
impregnable rock. But there never has been a time when influences outside
the Church have not found a shelter somewhere. Those traditions of the
classic world which Christianity threw aside as useless or worse quietly
reappeared. In no respect was this more notably the case than in regard to
the love of pure water and the cult of the bath. Islam adopted the
complete Roman bath, and made it an institution of daily life, a necessity
for all classes. Granada is the spot in Europe where to-day we find the
most exquisite remains of Mohammedan culture, and, though the fury of
Christian conquest dragged the harrow over the soil of Granada, even yet
streams and fountains spring up there and gush abundantly and one seldom
loses the sound of the plash of water. The flower of Christian chivalry
and Christian intelligence went to Palestine to wrest the Holy Sepulchre
from the hands of pagan Mohammedans. They found there many excellent
things which they had not gone out to seek, and the Crusaders produced a
kind of premature and abortive Renaissance, the shadow of lost classic
things reflected on Christian Europe from the mirror of Islam.

    Yet it is worth while to point out, as bearing on the
    associations of the bath here emphasized, that even in Islam we
    may trace the existence of a religious attitude unfavorable to
    the bath. Before the time of Mohammed there were no public baths
    in Arabia, and it was and is believed that baths are specially
    haunted by the djinn--the evil spirits. Mohammed himself was at
    first so prejudiced against public baths that he forbade both men
    and women to enter them. Afterward, however, he permitted men to
    use them provided they wore a cloth round the loins, and women
    also when they could not conveniently bathe at home. Among the
    Prophet's sayings is found the assertion: "Whatever woman enters
    a bath the devil is with her," and "All the earth is given to me
    as a place of prayer, and as pure, except the burial ground and
    the bath." (See, e.g., E.W. Lane, _Arabian Society in the Middle
    Ages_, 1883, pp. 179-183.) Although, therefore, the bath, or
    _hammam_, on grounds of ritual ablution, hygiene, and enjoyment
    speedily became universally popular in Islam among all classes
    and both sexes, Mohammed himself may be said to have opposed it.

Among the discoveries which the Crusaders made and brought home with them
one of the most notable was that of the bath, which in its more elaborate
forms seems to have been absolutely forgotten in Europe, though Roman
baths might everywhere have been found underground. All authorities seem
to be agreed in finding here the origin of the revival of the public bath.
It is to Rome first, and later to Islam, the lineal inheritor of classic
culture, that we owe the cult of water and of physical purity. Even to-day
the Turkish bath, which is the most popular of elaborate methods of
bathing, recalls by its characteristics and its name the fact that it is a
Mohammedan survival of Roman life.

From the twelfth century onward baths have repeatedly been introduced from
the East, and reintroduced afresh in slightly modified forms, and have
flourished with varying degrees of success. In the thirteenth century they
were very common, especially in Paris, and though they were often used,
more especially in Germany, by both sexes in common, every effort was made
to keep them orderly and respectable. These efforts were, however, always
unsuccessful in the end. A bath always tended in the end to become a
brothel, and hence either became unfashionable or was suppressed by the
authorities. It is sufficient to refer to the reputation in England of
"hot-houses" and "bagnios." It was not until toward the end of the
eighteenth century that it began to be recognized that the claims of
physical cleanliness were sufficiently imperative to make it necessary
that the fairly avoidable risks to morality in bathing should be avoided
and the unavoidable risks bravely incurred. At the present day, now that
we are accustomed to weave ingeniously together in the texture of our
lives the conflicting traditions of classic and Christian days, we have
almost persuaded ourselves that the pagan virtue of cleanliness comes next
after godliness, and we bathe, forgetful of the great moral struggle which
once went on around the bath. But we refrain from building ourselves
palaces to bathe in, and for the most part we bathe with exceeding
moderation.[23] It is probable that we may best harmonize our conflicting
traditions by rejecting not only the Christian glorification of dirt, but
also, save for definitely therapeutic purposes, the excessive heat,
friction, and stimulation involved by the classic forms of bathing. Our
reasonable ideal should render it easy and natural for every man, woman,
and child to have a simple bath, tepid in winter, cold in summer, all the
year round.

    For the history of the bath in mediaeval times and later Europe,
    see A. Franklin, _Les Soins de Toilette_, in the _Vie Privee
    d'Autrefois_ series; Rudeck, _Geschichte der oeffentlichen
    Sittlichkeit in Deutschland_; T. Wright, _The Homes of Other
    Days_; E. Duehren, _Das Geschlechtsleben in England_, bd. 1.

    Outside the Church, there was a greater amount of cleanliness
    than we are sometimes apt to suppose. It may, indeed, be said
    that the uncleanliness of holy men and women would have attracted
    no attention if it had corresponded to the condition generally
    prevailing. Before public baths were established bathing in
    private was certainly practiced; thus Ordericus Vitalis, in
    narrating the murder of Mabel, the Countess de Montgomery, in
    Normandy in 1082, casually mentions that she was lying on the bed
    after her bath (_Ecclesiastical History_, Book V, Chapter XIII).
    In warm weather, it would appear, mediaeval ladies bathed in
    streams, as we may still see countrywomen do in Russia, Bohemia,
    and occasionally nearer home. The statement of the historian
    Michelet, therefore, that Percival, Iseult, and the other
    ethereal personages of mediaeval times "certainly never washed"
    (_La Sorciere_, p. 110) requires some qualification.

    In 1292 there were twenty-six bathing establishments in Paris,
    and an attendant would go through the streets in the morning
    announcing that they were ready. One could have a vapor bath only
    or a hot bath to succeed it, as in the East. No woman of bad
    reputation, leper, or vagabond was at this time allowed to
    frequent the baths, which were closed on Sundays and feast-days.
    By the fourteenth century, however, the baths began to have a
    reputation for immorality, as well as luxury, and, according to
    Dufour, the baths of Paris "rivaled those of imperial Rome: love,
    prostitution, and debauchery attracted the majority to the
    bathing establishments, where everything was covered by a decent
    veil." He adds that, notwithstanding the scandal thus caused and
    the invectives of preachers, all went to the baths, young and
    old, rich and poor, and he makes the statement, which seems to
    echo the constant assertion of the early Fathers, that "a woman
    who frequented the baths returned home physically pure only at
    the expense of her moral purity."

    In Germany there was even greater freedom of manners in bathing,
    though, it would seem, less real licentiousness. Even the
    smallest towns had their baths, which were frequented by all
    classes. As soon as the horn blew to announce that the baths were
    ready all hastened along the street, the poorer folk almost
    completely undressing themselves before leaving their homes.
    Bathing was nearly always in common without any garment being
    worn, women attendants commonly rubbed and massaged both sexes,
    and the dressing room was frequently used by men and women in
    common; this led to obvious evils. The Germans, as Weinhold
    points out (_Die Deutschen Frauen im Mittelalter_, 1882, bd. ii,
    pp. 112 et seq.), have been fond of bathing in the open air in
    streams from the days of Tacitus and Caesar until comparatively
    modern times, when the police have interfered. It was the same in
    Switzerland. Poggio, early in the sixteenth century, found it the
    custom for men and women to bathe together at Baden, and said
    that he seemed to be assisting at the _floralia_ of ancient Rome,
    or in Plato's Republic. Senancour, who quotes the passage (_De
    l'Amour_, 1834, vol. i, p. 313), remarks that at the beginning of
    the nineteenth century there was still great liberty at the Baden

    Of the thirteenth century in England Thomas Wright (_Homes of
    Other Days_, 1871, p. 271) remarks: "The practice of warm bathing
    prevailed very generally in all classes of society, and is
    frequently alluded to in the mediaeval romances and stories. For
    this purpose a large bathing-tub was used. People sometimes
    bathed immediately after rising in the morning, and we find the
    bath used after dinner and before going to bed. A bath was also
    often prepared for a visitor on his arrival from a journey; and,
    what seems still more singular, in the numerous stories of
    amorous intrigues the two lovers usually began their interviews
    by bathing together."

    In England the association between bathing and immorality was
    established with special rapidity and thoroughness. Baths were
    here officially recognized as brothels, and this as early as the
    twelfth century, under Henry II. These organized bath-brothels
    were confined to Southwark, outside the walls of the city, a
    quarter which was also given up to various sports and amusements.
    At a later period, "hot-houses," bagnios, and hummums (the
    eastern _hammam_) were spread all over London and remained
    closely identified with prostitution, these names, indeed,
    constantly tending to become synonymous with brothels. (T.
    Wright, _Homes of Other Days_, 1871, pp. 494-496, gives an
    account of them.)

    In France the baths, being anathematized by both Catholics and
    Huguenots, began to lose vogue and disappear. "Morality gained,"
    remarks Franklin, "but cleanliness lost." Even the charming and
    elegant Margaret of Navarre found it quite natural for a lady to
    mention incidentally to her lover that she had not washed her
    hands for a week. Then began an extreme tendency to use
    cosmetics, essences, perfumes, and a fierce war with vermin, up
    to the seventeenth century, when some progress was made, and
    persons who desired to be very elegant and refined were
    recommended to wash their faces "nearly every day." Even in 1782,
    however, while a linen cloth was advised for the purpose of
    cleaning the face and hands, the use of water was still somewhat
    discountenanced. The use of hot and cold baths was now, however,
    beginning to be established in Paris and elsewhere, and the
    bathing establishments at the great European health resorts were
    also beginning to be put on the orderly footing which is now
    customary. When Casanova, in the middle of the eighteenth
    century, went to the public baths at Berne he was evidently
    somewhat surprised when he found that he was invited to choose
    his own attendant from a number of young women, and when he
    realized that these attendants were, in all respects, at the
    disposition of the bathers. It is evident that establishments of
    this kind were then already dying out, although it may be added
    that the customs described by Casanova appear to have persisted
    in Budapest and St. Petersburg almost or quite up to the present.
    The great European public baths have long been above suspicion in
    this respect (though homosexual practices are not quite
    excluded), while it is well recognized that many kinds of hot
    baths now in use produce a powerfully stimulating action upon the
    sexual system, and patients taking such baths for medical
    purposes are frequently warned against giving way to these

    The struggle which in former ages went on around bathing
    establishments has now been in part transferred to massage
    establishments. Massage is an equally powerful stimulant to the
    skin and the sexual sphere,--acting mainly by friction instead of
    mainly by heat,--and it has not yet attained that position of
    general recognition and popularity which, in the case of bathing
    establishments, renders it bad policy to court disrepute.

    Like bathing, massage is a hygienic and therapeutic method of
    influencing the skin and subjacent tissues which, together with
    its advantages, has certain concomitant disadvantages in its
    liability to affect the sexual sphere. This influence is apt to
    be experienced by individuals of both sexes, though it is perhaps
    specially marked in women. Jouin (quoted in Paris _Journal de
    Medecine_, April 23, 1893) found that of 20 women treated by
    massage, of whom he made inquiries, 14 declared that they
    experienced voluptuous sensations; 8 of these belonged to
    respectable families; the other 6 were women of the _demimonde_
    and gave precise details; Jouin refers in this connection to the
    _aliptes_ of Rome. It is unnecessary to add that the
    gynaecological massage introduced in recent years by the Swedish
    teacher of gymnastics, Thure-Brandt, as involving prolonged
    rubbing and kneading of the pelvic regions, "_pression glissante
    du vagin_" etc. (_Massage Gynecologique_, by G. de Frumerie,
    1897), whatever its therapeutic value, cannot fail in a large
    proportion of cases to stimulate the sexual emotions. (Eulenburg
    remarks that for sexual anaesthesia in women the Thure-Brandt
    system of massage may "naturally" be recommended, _Sexuale
    Neuropathie_, p. 78.) I have been informed that in London and
    elsewhere massage establishments are sometimes visited by women
    who seek sexual gratification by massage of the genital regions
    by the _masseuse_.


[21] "_Dicens munditiam corporis atque vestitus animae esse
immunditiam_"--St. Jerome, _Ad Eustochium Virginem_.

[22] With regard to the physiological mechanism by which bathing produces
its tonic and stimulating effects Woods Hutchinson has an interesting
discussion (Chapter VII) in his _Studies in Human and Comparative

[23] Thus among the young women admitted to the Chicago Normal School to
be trained as teachers, Miss Lura Sanborn, the director of physical
training, states (_Doctor's Magazine_, December, 1900) that a bath once a
fortnight is found to be not unusual.


Summary--Fundamental Importance of Touch--The Skin the Mother of All the
Other Senses.

The sense of touch is so universally diffused over the whole skin, and in
so many various degrees and modifications, and it is, moreover, so truly
the Alpha and the Omega of affection, that a broken and fragmentary
treatment of the subject has been inevitable.

The skin is the archaeological field of human and prehuman experience, the
foundation on which all forms of sensory perception have grown up, and as
sexual sensibility is among the most ancient of all forms of sensibility,
the sexual instinct is necessarily, in the main, a comparatively slightly
modified form of general touch sensibility. This primitive character of
the great region of tactile sensation, its vagueness and diffusion, the
comparatively unintellectual as well as unaesthetic nature of the mental
conceptions which arise on the tactile basis make it difficult to deal
precisely with the psychology of touch. The very same qualities, however,
serve greatly to heighten the emotional intensity of skin sensations. So
that, of all the great sensory fields, the field of touch is at once the
least intellectual and the most massively emotional. These qualities, as
well as its intimate and primitive association with the apparatus of
tumescence and detumescence, make touch the readiest and most powerful
channel by which the sexual sphere may be reached.

In disentangling the phenomena of tactile sensibility ticklishness has
been selected for special consideration as a kind of sensation, founded on
reflexes developing even before birth, which is very closely related to
sexual phenomena. It is, as it were, a play of tumescence, on which
laughter supervenes as a play of detumescence. It leads on to the more
serious phenomena of tumescence, and it tends to die out after
adolescence, at the period during which sexual relationships normally
begin. Such a view of ticklishness, as a kind of modesty of the skin,
existing merely to be destroyed, need only be regarded as one of its
aspects. Ticklishness certainly arose from a non-sexual starting-point,
and may well have protective uses in the young animal.

The readiness with which tactile sensibility takes on a sexual character
and forms reflex channels of communication with the sexual sphere proper
is illustrated by the existence of certain secondary sexual foci only
inferior in sexual excitability to the genital region. We have seen that
the chief of these normal foci are situated in the orificial regions where
skin and mucous membrane meet, and that the contact of any two orificial
regions between two persons of different sex brought together under
favorable conditions is apt, when prolonged, to produce a very intense
degree of sexual erethism. This is a normal phenomenon in so far as it is
a part of tumescence, and not a method of obtaining detumescence. The kiss
is a typical example of these contacts, while the nipple is of special
interest in this connection, because we are thereby enabled to bring the
psychology of lactation into intimate relationship with the psychology of
sexual love.

The extreme sensitiveness of the skin, the readiness with which its
stimulation reverberates into the sexual sphere, clearly brought out by
the present study, enable us to understand better a very ancient
contest--the moral struggle around the bath. There has always been a
tendency for the extreme cultivation of physical purity to lead on to the
excessive stimulation of the sexual sphere; so that the Christian ascetics
were entirely justified, on their premises, in fighting against the bath
and in directly or indirectly fostering a cult of physical uncleanliness.
While, however, in the past there has clearly been a general tendency for
the cult of physical purity to be associated with moral licentiousness,
and there are sufficient grounds for such an association, it is important
to remember that it is not an inevitable and fatal association; a
scrupulously clean person is by no means necessarily impelled to
licentiousness; a physically unclean person is by no means necessarily
morally pure. When we have eliminated certain forms of the bath which must
be regarded as luxuries rather than hygienic necessities, though they
occasionally possess therapeutic virtues, we have eliminated the most
violent appeals of the bath to the sexual impulse. So imperative are the
demands of physical purity now becoming, in general opinion, that such
small risks to moral purity as may still remain are constantly and wisely
disregarded, and the immoral traditions of the bath now, for the most
part, belong to the past.



The Primitiveness of Smell--The Anatomical Seat of the Olfactory
Centres--Predominance of Smell among the Lower Mammals--Its Diminished
Importance in Man--The Attention Paid to Odors by Savages.

The first more highly organized sense to arise on the diffused tactile
sensitivity of the skin is, in most cases, without doubt that of smell. At
first, indeed, olfactory sensibility is not clearly differentiated from
general tactile sensibility; the pit of thickened and ciliated epithelium
or the highly mobile antennae which in many lower animals are sensitive to
odorous stimuli are also extremely sensitive to tactile stimuli; this is,
for instance, the case with the snail, in whom at the same time olfactive
sensibility seems to be spread over the whole body.[24] The sense of smell
is gradually specialized, and when taste also begins to develop a kind of
chemical sense is constituted. The organ of smell, however, speedily
begins to rise in importance as we ascend the zooelogical scale. In the
lower vertebrates, when they began to adopt a life on dry land, the sense
of smell seems to have been that part of their sensory equipment which
proved most useful under the new conditions, and it developed with
astonishing rapidity. Edinger finds that in the brain of reptiles the
"area olfactoria" is of enormous extent, covering, indeed, the greater
part of the cortex, though it may be quite true, as Herrick remarks, that,
while smell is preponderant, it is perhaps not correct to attribute an
exclusively olfactory tone to the cerebral activities of the _Sauropsida_
or even the _Ichthyopsida_. Among most mammals, however, in any case,
smell is certainly the most highly developed of the senses; it gives the
first information of remote objects that concern them; it gives the most
precise information concerning the near objects that concern them; it is
the sense in terms of which most of their mental operations must be
conducted and their emotional impulses reach consciousness. Among the apes
it has greatly lost importance and in man it has become almost
rudimentary, giving place to the supremacy of vision.

    Prof. G. Elliot Smith, a leading authority on the brain, has well
    summarized the facts concerning the predominance of the olfactory
    region in the mammal brain, and his conclusions may be quoted. It
    should be premised that Elliot Smith divides the brain into
    rhinencephalon and neopallium. Rhinencephalon designates the
    regions which are pre-eminently olfactory in function: the
    olfactory bulb, its peduncle, the tuberculum olfactorium and
    locus perforatus, the pyriform lobe, the paraterminal body, and
    the whole hippocampal formation. The neopallium is the dorsal cap
    of the brain, with frontal, parietal, and occipital areas,
    comprehending all that part of the brain which is the seat of the
    higher associative activities, reaching its fullest development
    in man.

    "In the early mammals the olfactory areas form by far the greater
    part of the cerebral hemisphere, which is not surprising when it
    is recalled that the forebrain is, in the primitive brain,
    essentially an appendage, so to speak, of the smell apparatus.
    When the cerebral hemisphere comes to occupy such a dominant
    position in the brain it is perhaps not unnatural to find that
    the sense of smell is the most influential and the chief source
    of information to the animal; or, perhaps, it would be more
    accurate to say that the olfactory sense, which conveys general
    information to the animal such as no other sense can bring
    concerning its prey (whether near or far, hidden or exposed), is
    much the most serviceable of all the avenues of information to
    the lowly mammal leading a terrestrial life, and therefore
    becomes predominant; and its particular domain--the
    forebrain--becomes the ruling portion of the nervous system.

    "This early predominance of the sense of smell persists in most
    mammals (unless an aquatic mode of life interferes and deposes
    it: compare the _Cetacea, Sirenia_, and _Pinnipedia_, for
    example) even though a large neopallium develops to receive
    visual, auditory, tactile, and other impressions pouring into the
    forebrain. In the _Anthropoidea_ alone of nonaquatic mammals the
    olfactory regions undergo an absolute (and not only relative, as
    in the _Carnivora_ and _Ungulata_) dwindling, which is equally
    shared by the human brain, in common with those of the other
    _Simiidae_, the _Cercopithecidae_, and the _Cebidae_. But all the
    parts of the rhinencephalon, which are so distinct in macrosmatic
    mammals, can also be recognized in the human brain. The small
    ellipsoidal olfactory bulb is moored, so to speak, on the
    cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone by the olfactory nerves; so
    that, as the place of attachment of the olfactory peduncle to the
    expanding cerebral hemisphere becomes removed (as a result of the
    forward extension of the hemisphere) progressively farther and
    farther backward, the peduncle becomes greatly stretched and
    elongated. And, as this stretching involves the gray matter
    without lessening the number of nerve-fibres in the olfactory
    tract, the peduncle becomes practically what it is usually
    called--i.e., the olfactory 'tract.' The tuberculum olfactorium
    becomes greatly reduced and at the same time flattened; so that
    it is not easy to draw a line of demarcation between it and the
    anterior perforated space. The anterior rhinal fissure, which is
    present in the early human foetus, vanishes (almost, if not
    altogether) in the adult. Part of the posterior rhinal fissure is
    always present in the 'incisura temporalis,' and sometimes,
    especially in some of the non-European races, the whole of the
    posterior rhinal fissure is retained in that typical form which
    we find in the anthropoid apes." (G. Elliot Smith, in
    _Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue of the Physiological
    Series of Comparative Anatomy Contained in the Museum of the
    Royal College of Surgeons of England_, second edition, vol. ii.)
    A full statement of Elliot Smith's investigations, with diagrams,
    is given by Bullen, _Journal of Mental Science_, July, 1899. It
    may be added that the whole subject of the olfactory centres has
    been thoroughly studied by Elliot Smith, as well as by Edinger,
    Mayer, and C.L. Herrick. In the _Journal of Comparative
    Neurology_, edited by the last named, numerous discussions and
    summaries bearing on the subject will be found from 1896 onward.
    Regarding the primitive sense-organs of smell in the various
    invertebrate groups some information will be found in A.B.
    Griffiths's _Physiology of the Invertebrata_, Chapter XI.

The predominance of the olfactory area in the nervous system of the
vertebrates generally has inevitably involved intimate psychic
associations between olfactory stimuli and the sexual impulse. For most
mammals not only are all sexual associations mainly olfactory, but the
impressions received by this sense suffice to dominate all others. An
animal not only receives adequate sexual excitement from olfactory
stimuli, but those stimuli often suffice to counterbalance all the
evidence of the other senses.

    We may observe this very well in the case of the dog. Thus, a
    young dog, well known to me, who had never had connection with a
    bitch, but was always in the society of its father, once met the
    latter directly after the elder dog had been with a bitch. He
    immediately endeavored to behave toward the elder dog, in spite
    of angry repulses, exactly as a dog behaves toward a bitch in
    heat. The messages received by the sense of smell were
    sufficiently urgent not only to set the sexual mechanism in
    action, but to overcome the experiences of a lifetime. There is
    an interesting chapter on the sense of smell in the mental life
    of the dog in Giessler's _Psychologie des Geruches_, 1894,
    Chapter XI, Passy (in the appendix to his memoir on olfaction,
    _L'Annee Psychologique_, 1895) gives the result of some
    interesting experiments as to the effects of perfume on dogs;
    civet and castoreum were found to have the most powerfully
    exciting effect.

    The influences of smell are equally omnipotent in the sexual life
    of many insects. Thus, Fere has found that in cockchafers sexual
    coupling failed to take place when the antennae, which are the
    organs of smell, were removed; he also found that males, after
    they had coupled with females, proved sexually attractive to
    other males (_Comptes Rendus de la Societe de Biologie_, May 21,
    1898). Fere similarly found that, in a species of _Bombyx_, males
    after contact with females sometimes proved attractive to other
    males, although no abnormal relationships followed. (_Soc. de
    Biol_, July 30, 1898.)

With the advent of the higher apes, and especially of man, all this has
been changed. The sense of smell, indeed, still persists universally and
it is still also exceedingly delicate, though often neglected.[25] It is,
moreover, a useful auxiliary in the exploration of the external world,
for, in contrast to the very few sensations furnished to us by touch and
by taste, we are acquainted with a vast number of smells, though the
information they give us is frequently vague. An experienced perfumer,
says Piesse, will have two hundred odors in his laboratory and can
distinguish them all. To a sensitive nose nearly everything smells. Passy
goes so far as to state that he has "never met with any object that is
really inodorous when one pays attention to it, not even excepting glass,"
and, though we can scarcely accept this statement absolutely,--especially
in view of the careful experiments of Ayrton, which show that, contrary
to a common belief, metals when perfectly clean and free from traces of
contact with the skin or with salt solutions have no smell,--odor is still
extremely widely diffused. This is especially the case in hot countries,
and the experiments of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition on the
sense of smell of the Papuans were considerably impeded by the fact that
at Torres Straits everything, even water, seemed to have a smell. Savages
are often accused more or less justly of indifference to bad odors. They
are very often, however, keenly alive to the significance of smells and
their varieties, though it does not appear that the sense of smell is
notably more developed in savage than in civilized peoples. Odors also
continue to play a part in the emotional life of man, more especially in
hot countries. Nevertheless both in practical life and in emotional life,
in science and in art, smell is, at the best, under normal conditions,
merely an auxiliary. If the sense of smell were abolished altogether the
life of mankind would continue as before, with little or no sensible
modification, though the pleasures of life, and especially of eating and
drinking, would be to some extent diminished.

    In New Ireland, Duffield remarks (_Journal of the Anthropological
    Institute_, 1886, p. 118), the natives have a very keen sense of
    smell; unusual odors are repulsive to them, and "carbolic acid
    drove them wild."

    The New Caledonians, according to Foley (_Bulletin de la Societe
    d'Anthropologie_, November 6, 1879), only like the smells of meat
    and fish which are becoming "high," like _popoya_, which smells
    of fowl manure, and _kava_, of rotten eggs. Fruits and vegetables
    which are beginning to go bad seem the best to them, while the
    fresh and natural odors which we prefer seem merely to say to
    them: "We are not yet eatable." (A taste for putrefying food,
    common among savages, by no means necessarily involves a distaste
    for agreeable scents, and even among Europeans there is a
    widespread taste for offensively smelling and putrid foods,
    especially cheese and game.)

    The natives of Torres Straits were carefully examined by Dr. C.S.
    Myers with regard to their olfactory acuteness and olfactory
    preferences. It was found that acuteness was, if anything,
    slightly greater than among Europeans. This appeared to be
    largely due to the careful attention they pay to odors. The
    resemblances which they detected among different odorous
    substances were frequently found to rest on real chemical
    affinities. The odors they were observed to dislike most
    frequently were asafoetida, valerianic acid, and civet, the last
    being regarded as most repulsive of all on account of its
    resemblance to faecal odor, which these people regard with intense
    disgust. Their favorite odors were musk, thyme, and especially
    violet. (_Report of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to
    Torres Straits_, vol. ii, Part II, 1903.)

    In Australia Lumholtz (_Among Cannibals_, p. 115) found that the
    blacks had a keener sense of smell than he possessed.

    In New Zealand the Maoris, as W. Colenso shows, possessed,
    formerly at all events, a very keen sense of smell or else were
    very attentive to smell, and their taste as regarded agreeable
    and disagreeable odors corresponded very closely to European
    taste, although it must be added that some of their common
    articles of food possessed a very offensive odor. They are not
    only sensitive to European perfumes, but possessed various
    perfumes of their own, derived from plants and possessing a
    pleasant, powerful, and lasting odor; the choicest and rarest was
    the gum of the _taramea_ (_Aciphylla Colensoi_), which was
    gathered by virgins after the use of prayers and charms. Sir
    Joseph Banks noted that Maori chiefs wore little bundles of
    perfumes around their necks, and Cook made the same observation
    concerning the young women. References to the four chief Maori
    perfumes are contained in a stanza which is still often hummed to
    express satisfaction, and sung by a mother to her  child:--

        "My little neck-satchel of sweet-scented moss,
        My little neck-satchel of fragrant fern,
        My little neck-satchel of odoriferous gum,
        My sweet-smelling neck-locket of sharp-pointed _taramea_."

    In the summer season the sleeping houses of Maori chiefs were
    often strewed with a large, sweet-scented, flowering grass of
    powerful odor. (W. Colenso, _Transactions of the New Zealand
    Institute_, vol. xxiv, reprinted in _Nature_, November 10, 1892.)

    Javanese women rub themselves with a mixture of chalk and strong
    essence which, when rubbed off, leaves a distinct perfume on the
    body. (Stratz, _Die Frauenkleidung_, p. 84.)

    The Samoans, Friedlaender states (_Zeitschrift fuer Ethnologie_,
    1899, p. 52), are very fond of fragrant and aromatic odors. He
    gives a list of some twenty odorous plants which they use, more
    especially as garlands for the head and neck, including
    ylang-ylang and gardenia; he remarks that of one of these plants
    (cordyline) he could not himself detect the odor.

    The Nicobarese, Man remarks (_Journal of the Anthropological
    Institute_, 1889, p. 377), like the natives of New Zealand,
    particularly dislike the smell of carbolic acid. Both young men
    and women are very partial to scents; the former say they find
    their use a certain passport to the favor of their wives, and
    they bring home from the jungle the scented leaves of a certain
    creeper to their sweethearts and wives.

    Swahili women devote much attention to perfuming themselves. When
    a woman wishes to make herself desirable she anoints herself all
    over with fragrant ointments, sprinkles herself with rose-water,
    puts perfume into her clothes, strews jasmine flowers on her bed
    as well as binding them round her neck and waist, and smokes
    _udi_, the perfumed wood of the aloe; "every man is glad when his
    wife smells of _udi_" (Velten, _Sitten und Gebraueche der
    Suaheli_, pp. 212-214).


[24] Emile Yung, "Le Sens Olfactif de l'Escargot (Helix Pomata),"
_Archives de Psychologie_, November, 1903.

[25] The sensitiveness of smell in man generally exceeds that of chemical
reaction or even of spectral analysis; see Passy, _L'Annee Psychologique_,
second year, 1895, p. 380.


Rise of the Study of Olfaction--Cloquet--Zwaardemaker--The Theory of
Smell--The Classification of Odors--The Special Characteristics of
Olfactory Sensation in Man--Smell as the Sense of Imagination--Odors as
Nervous Stimulants--Vasomotor and Muscular Effects--Odorous Substances as

During the eighteenth century a great impetus was given to the
physiological and psychological study of the senses by the philosophical
doctrines of Locke and the English school generally which then prevailed
in Europe. These thinkers had emphasized the immense importance of the
information derived through the senses in building up the intellect, so
that the study of all the sensory channels assumed a significance which it
had never possessed before. The olfactory sense fully shared in the
impetus thus given to sensory investigation. At the beginning of the
nineteenth century a distinguished French physician, Hippolyte Cloquet, a
disciple of Cabanis, devoted himself more especially to this subject.
After publishing in 1815 a preliminary work, he issued in 1821 his
_Osphresiologie, ou Traite des odeurs, du sens et des organes de
l'Olfaction_, a complete monograph on the anatomy, physiology, psychology,
and pathology of the olfactory organ and its functions, and a work that
may still be consulted with profit, if indeed it can even yet be said to
be at every point superseded. After Cloquet's time the study of the sense
of smell seems to have fallen into some degree of discredit. For more than
half a century no important progress was made in this field. Serious
investigators seemed to have become shy of the primitive senses generally,
and the subject of smell was mainly left to those interested in "curious"
subjects. Many interesting observations were, however, incidentally made;
thus Laycock, who was a pioneer in so many by-paths of psychology and
anthropology, showed a special interest in the olfactory sense, and
frequently touched on it in his _Nervous Diseases of Women_ and
elsewhere. The writer who more than any other has in recent years restored
the study of the sense of smell from a by-path to its proper position as a
highway for investigation is without doubt Professor Zwaardemaker, of
Utrecht. The invention of his first olfactometer in 1888 and the
appearance in 1895 of his great work _Die Physiologie des Geruchs_ have
served to give the physiology of the sense of smell an assured status and
to open the way anew for much fruitful investigation, while a number of
inquirers in many countries have had their attention directed to the
elucidation of this sense.

Notwithstanding, however, the amount of work which has been done in this
field during recent years, it cannot be said that the body of assured
conclusions so far reached is large. The most fundamental principles of
olfactory physiology and psychology are still somewhat vague and
uncertain. Although sensations of smell are numerous and varied, in this
respect approaching the sensations of vision and hearing, smell still
remains close to touch in the vagueness of its messages (while the most
sensitive of the senses, remarks Passy, it is the least precise), the
difficulty of classifying them, the impossibility of so controlling them
as to found upon them any art. It seems better, therefore, not to attempt
to force the present study of a special aspect of olfaction into any
general scheme which may possibly not be really valid.

    The earliest and most general tendency in regard to the theory of
    smell was to regard it as a kind of chemical sense directly
    stimulated by minute particles of solid substance. A vibratory
    theory of smell, however, making it somewhat analogous to
    hearing, easily presents itself. When I first began the study of
    physiology in 1881, a speculation of this kind presented itself
    to my mind. Long before Philipp von Walther, a professor at
    Landshut, had put forward a dynamic theory of olfaction
    (_Physiologie des Menschen_, 1807-8, vol. ii, p. 278). "It is a
    purely dynamic operation of the odorous substance in the
    olfactory organ," he stated. Odor is conveyed by the air, he
    believed, in the same way as heat. It must be added that his
    reasons for this theory will not always bear examination. More
    recently a similar theory has been seriously put forward in
    various quarters. Sir William Ramsay tentatively suggested such a
    theory (_Nature_, vol. xxv, p. 187) in analogy with light and
    sound. Haycraft (_Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh_,
    1883-87, and _Brain_, 1887-88), largely starting from
    Mendelieff's law of periodicity, similarly sought to bring smell
    into line with the higher senses, arguing that molecules with the
    same vibration have the same smell. Rutherford (_Nature_, August
    11, 1892, p. 343), attaching importance to the evidence brought
    forward by von Brunn showing that the olfactory cells terminate
    in very delicate short hairs, also stated his belief that the
    different qualities of smell result from differences in the
    frequency and form of the vibrations initiated by the action of
    the chemical molecules on these olfactory cells, though he
    admitted that such a conception involved a very subtle conception
    of molecular vibration. Vaschide and Van Melle (Paris Academy of
    Sciences, December 26, 1899) have, again, argued that smell is
    produced by rays of short wave-lengths, analogous to light-rays,
    Roentgen rays, etc. Chemical action is however, a very important
    factor in the production of odors; this has been well shown by
    Ayrton (_Nature_, September 8, 1898). We seem to be forced in the
    direction of a chemico-vibratory theory, as pointed out by
    Southerden (_Nature_, March 26, 1903), the olfactory cells being
    directly stimulated, not by the ordinary vibrations of the
    molecules, but by the agitations accompanying chemical changes.

    The vibratory hypothesis of the action of odors has had some
    influence on the recent physiologists who have chiefly occupied
    themselves with olfaction. "It is probable," Zwaardemaker writes
    (_L'Annee Psychologique_, 1898), "that aroma is a
    physico-chemical attribute of the molecules"; he points out that
    there is an intimate analogy between color and odor, and remarks
    that this analogy leads us to suppose in an aroma ether
    vibrations of which the period is determined by the structure of
    the molecule.

    Since the physiology of olfaction is yet so obscure it is not
    surprising that we have no thoroughly scientific classification
    of smells, notwithstanding various ambitious attempts to reach a
    classification. The classification adopted by Zwaardemaker is
    founded on the ancient scheme of Linnaeus, and may here be

    I. Ethereal odors (chiefly esters; Rimmel's fruity series).

    II. Aromatic odors (terpenes, camphors, and the spicy,
    herbaceous, rosaceous, and almond series; the chemical types are
    well determined: cineol, eugenol, anethol, geraniol,

    III. The balsamic odors (chiefly aldehydes, Rimmel's jasmin,
    violet, and balsamic series, with the chemical types: terpineol,
    ionone, vanillin).

    IV. The ambrosiacal odors (ambergris and musk).

    V. The alliaceous odors, with the cacodylic group (asafoetida,
    ichthyol, etc.).

    VI. Empyreumatic odors.

    VII. Valerianaceous odors (Linnaeus's _Odores hircini_, the capryl
    group, largely composed of sexual odors).

    VIII. Narcotic odors (Linnaeus's _Odores tetri_).

    IX. Stenches.

    A valuable and interesting memoir, "Revue Generale sur les
    Sensations Olfactives," by J. Passy, the chief French authority
    on this subject, will be found in the second volume of _L'Annee
    Psychologique_, 1895. In the fifth issue of the same year-book
    (for 1898) Zwaardemaker presents a full summary of his work and
    views, "Les Sensations Olfactives, leurs Combinaisons et leurs
    Compensations." A convenient, but less authoritative, summary of
    the facts of normal and pathological olfaction will be found in a
    little volume of the "Actualites Medicales" series by Dr. Collet,
    _L'Odorat et ses Troubles_, 1904. In a little book entitled
    _Wegweiser zu einer Psychologie des Geruches_ (1894) Giessler has
    sought to outline a psychology of smell, but his sketch can only
    be regarded as tentative and provisional.

At the outset, nevertheless, it seems desirable that we should at least
have some conception of the special characteristics which mark the great
and varied mass of sensations reaching the brain through the channel of
the olfactory organ. The main special character of olfactory images seems
to be conditioned by the fact that they are intermediate in character
between those of touch or taste and those of sight or sound, that they
have much of the vagueness of the first and something of the richness and
variety of the second. AEsthetically, also, they occupy an intermediate
position between the higher and the lower senses.[26] They are, at the
same time, less practically useful than either the lower or the higher
senses. They furnish us with a great mass of what we may call
by-sensations, which are of little practical use, but inevitably become
intimately mixed with the experiences of life by association and thus
acquire an emotional significance which is often very considerable. Their
emotional force, it may well be, is connected with the fact that their
anatomical seat is the most ancient part of the brain. They lie in a
remote almost disused storehouse of our minds and show the fascination or
the repulsiveness of all vague and remote things. It is for this reason
that they are--to an extent that is remarkable when we consider that they
are much more precise than touch sensations--subject to the influence of
emotional associations. The very same odor may be at one moment highly
pleasant, at the next moment highly unpleasant, in accordance with the
emotional attitude resulting from its associations. Visual images have no
such extreme flexibility; they are too definite to be so easily
influenced. Our feelings about the beauty of a flower cannot oscillate so
easily or so far as may our feelings about the agreeableness of its odor.
Our olfactory experiences thus institute a more or less continuous series
of by-sensations accompanying us through life, of no great practical
significance, but of considerable emotional significance from their
variety, their intimacy, their associational facility, their remote
ancestral reverberations through our brains.

It is the existence of these characteristics--at once so vague and so
specific, so useless and so intimate--which led various writers to
describe the sense of smell as, above all others, the sense of
imagination. No sense has so strong a power of suggestion, the power of
calling up ancient memories with a wider and deeper emotional
reverberation, while at the same time no sense furnishes impressions which
so easily change emotional color and tone, in harmony with the recipient's
general attitude. Odors are thus specially apt both to control the
emotional life and to become its slaves. With the use of incense religions
have utilized the imaginative and symbolical virtues of fragrance. All the
legends of the saints have insisted on the odor of sanctity that exhales
from the bodies of holy persons, especially at the moment of death. Under
the conditions of civilization these primitive emotional associations of
odor tend to be dispersed, but, on the other hand, the imaginative side of
the olfactory sense becomes accentuated, and personal idiosyncrasies of
all kinds tend to manifest themselves in the sphere of smell.

    Rousseau (in _Emile_, Bk. II) regarded smell as the sense of the
    imagination. So, also, at an earlier period, it was termed
    (according to Cloquet) by Cardano. Cloquet frequently insisted on
    the qualities of odors which cause them to appeal to the
    imagination; on their irregular and inconstant character; on
    their power of intoxicating the mind on some occasions; on the
    curious individual and racial preferences in the matter of odors.
    He remarked on the fact that the Persians employed asafoetida as
    a seasoning, while valerian was accounted a perfume in antiquity.
    (Cloquet, _Osphresiologie_, pp. 28, 45, 71, 112.) It may be
    added, as a curious example familiar to most people of the
    dependence of the emotional tone of a smell on its associations,
    that, while the exhalations of other people's bodies are
    ordinarily disagreeable to us, such is not the case with our own;
    this is expressed in the crude and vigorous dictum of the
    Elizabethan poet, Marston, "Every man's dung smell sweet i' his
    own nose." There are doubtless many implications, moral as well
    as psychological, in that statement.

    The modern authorities on olfaction, Passy and Zwaardemaker, both
    alike insist on the same characteristics of the sense of smell:
    its extreme acuity and yet its vagueness. "We live in a world of
    odor," Zwaardemaker remarks (_L'Annee Psychologique_, 1898, p.
    203), "as we live in a world of light and of sound. But smell
    yields us no distinct ideas grouped in regular order, still less
    that are fixed in the memory as a grammatical discipline.
    Olfactory sensations awake vague and half-understood perceptions,
    which are accompanied by very strong emotion. The emotion
    dominates us, but the sensation which was the cause of it remains
    unperceived." Even in the same individual there are wide
    variations in the sensitiveness to odors at different times, more
    especially as regards faint odors; Passy (_L'Annee
    Psychologique_, 1895, p. 387) brings forward some observations on
    this point.

    Maudsley noted the peculiarly suggestive power of odors; "there
    are certain smells," he remarked, "which never fail to bring back
    to me instantly and visibly scenes of my boyhood"; many of us
    could probably say the same. Another writer (E. Dillon, "A
    Neglected Sense," _Nineteenth Century_, April, 1894) remarks that
    "no sense has a stronger power of suggestion."

    Ribot has made an interesting investigation as to the prevalence
    and nature of the emotional memory of odors (_Psychology of the
    Emotions_, Chapter XI). By "emotional memory" is meant the
    spontaneous or voluntary revivability of the image, olfactory or
    other. (For the general question, see an article by F. Pillon,
    "La Memoire Affective, son Importance Theorique et Pratique,"
    _Revue Philosophique_, February, 1901; also Paulhan, "Sur la
    Memoire Affective," _Revue Philosophique_, December, 1902 and
    January, 1903.) Ribot found that 40 per cent. of persons are
    unable to revive any such images of taste or smell; 48 per cent,
    could revive some; 12 per cent, declared themselves capable of
    reviving all, or nearly all, at pleasure. In some persons there
    is no necessary accompanying revival of visual or tactile
    representations, but in the majority the revived odor ultimately
    excites a corresponding visual image. The odors most frequently
    recalled were pinks, musk, violets, heliotrope, carbolic acid,
    the smell of the country, of grass, etc. Pieron (_Revue
    Philosophique_, December, 1902) has described the special power
    possessed by vague odors, in his own case, of evoking ancient

    Dr. J.N. Mackenzie (_American Journal of the Medical Sciences_,
    January, 1886) considers that civilization exerts an influence in
    heightening or encouraging the influence of olfaction as it
    affects our emotions and judgment, and that, in the same way, as
    we ascend the social scale the more readily our minds are
    influenced and perhaps perverted by impressions received through
    the sense of smell.

Odors are powerful stimulants to the whole nervous system, causing, like
other stimulants, an increase of energy which, if excessive or prolonged,
leads to nervous exhaustion. Thus, it is well recognized in medicine that
the aromatics containing volatile oils (such as anise, cinnamon,
cardamoms, cloves, coriander, and peppermint) are antispasmodics and
anaesthetics, and that they stimulate digestion, circulation, and the
nervous system, in large doses producing depression. The carefully
arranged plethysmographic experiments of Shields, at the Johns Hopkins
University, have shown that olfactory sensations, by their action on the
vasomotor system, cause an increase of blood in the brain and sometimes in
addition stimulation of the heart; musk, wintergreen, wood violet, and
especially heliotrope were found to act strongly in these ways.[27]

Fere's experiments with the dynamometer and the ergograph have greatly
contributed to illustrate the stimulating effects of odors. Thus, he found
that smelling musk suffices to double muscular effort. With a number of
odorous substances he has found that muscular work is temporarily
heightened; when taste stimulation was added the increase of energy,
notably when using lemon was "colossal." A kind of "sensorial
intoxication" could be produced by the inhalation of odors and the whole
system stimulated to greater activity; the visual acuity was increased,
and electric and general excitability heightened.[28] Such effects may be
obtained in perfectly healthy persons, though both Shields and Fere have
found that in highly nervous persons the effects are liable to be much
greater. It is doubtless on this account that it is among civilized
peoples that attention is chiefly directed to perfumes, and that under the
conditions of modern life the interest in olfaction and its study has been

It is the genuinely stimulant qualities of odorous substances which led to
the widespread use of the more potent among them by ancient physicians,
and has led a few modern physicians to employ them still. Thus, vanilla,
according to Eloy, deserves to be much more frequently used
therapeutically than it is, on account of its excitomotor properties; he
states that its qualities as an excitant of sexual desire have long been
recognized and that Fonssagrives used to prescribe it for sexual


[26] The opinions of psychologists concerning the aesthetic significance of
smell, not on the whole very favorable, are brought together and discussed
by J.V. Volkelt, "Der AEsthetische Wert der niederen Sinne," _Zeitschrift
fuer Psychologie und Physiologie der Sinnesorgane_, 1902, ht. 3.

[27] T.E. Shields, "The Effect of Odors, etc., upon the Blood-flow,"
_Journal of Experimental Medicine_, vol. i, November, 1896. In France, O.
Henry and Tardif have made somewhat similar experiments on respiration and
circulation. See the latter's _Les Odeurs et les Parfums_, Chapter III.

[28] Fere, _Sensation et Mouvement_, Chapter VI; ib., _Comptes Rendus de
la Societe de Biologie_, November 3, December 15 and 22, 1900.

[29] Eloy, art. "Vanille," _Dictionnaire Encyclopedique des Sciences


The Specific Body Odors of Various Peoples--The Negro, etc.--The
European--The Ability to Distinguish Individuals by Smell--The Odor of
Sanctity--The Odor of Death--The Odors of Different Parts of the Body--The
Appearance of Specific Odors at Puberty--The Odors of Sexual
Excitement--The Odors of Menstruation--Body Odors as a Secondary Sexual
Character--The Custom of Salutation by Smell--The Kiss--Sexual Selection
by Smell--The Alleged Association between Size of Nose and Sexual
Vigor--The Probably Intimate Relationship between the Olfactory and
Genital Spheres--Reflex Influences from the Nose--Reflex Influences from
the Genital Sphere--Olfactory Hallucinations in Insanity as Related to
Sexual States--The Olfactive Type--The Sense of Smell in Neurasthenic and
Allied States--In Certain Poets and Novelists--Olfactory Fetichism--The
Part Played by Olfaction in Normal Sexual Attraction--In the East,
etc.--In Modern Europe--The Odor of the Armpit and its Variations--As a
Sexual and General Stimulant--Body Odors in Civilization Tend to Cause
Sexual Antipathy unless some Degree of Tumescence is Already Present--The
Question whether Men or Women are more Liable to Feel Olfactory
Influences--Women Usually more Attentive to Odors--The Special Interest in
Odors Felt by Sexual Inverts.

In approaching the specifically sexual aspect of odor in the human species
we may start from the fundamental fact--a fact we seek so far as possible
to disguise in our ordinary social relations--that all men and women are
odorous. This is marked among all races. The powerful odor of many, though
not all, negroes is well known; it is by no means due to uncleanly habits,
and Joest remarks that it is even increased by cleanliness, which opens
the pores of the skin; according to Sir H. Johnston, it is most marked in
the armpits and is stronger in men than in women. Pruner Bey describes it
as "ammoniacal and rancid; it is like the odor of the he-goat." The odor
varies not only individually, but according to the tribe; Castellani
states that the negress of the Congo has merely a slight "_gout de
noisette_" which is agreeable rather than otherwise. Monbuttu women,
according to Parke, have a strong Gorgonzola perfume, and Emin told Parke
that he could distinguish the members of different tribes by their
characteristic odor. In the same way the Nicobarese, according to Man, can
distinguish a member of each of the six tribes of the archipelago by
smell. The odor of Australian blacks is less strong than that of negroes
and has been described as of a phosphoric character. The South American
Indians, d'Orbigny stated, have an odor stronger than that of Europeans,
though not as strong as most negroes; it is marked, Latcham states, even
among those who, like the Araucanos, bathe constantly. The Chinese have a
musky odor. The odor of many peoples is described as being of garlic.[30]

A South Sea Islander, we are told by Charles de Varigny, on coming to
Sydney and seeing the ladies walking about the streets and apparently
doing nothing, expressed much astonishment, adding, with a gesture of
contempt, "and they have no smell!" It is by no means true, however, that
Europeans are odorless. They are, indeed, considerably more odorous than
are many other races,--for instance, the Japanese,--and there is doubtless
some association between the greater hairiness of Europeans and their
marked odor, since the sebaceous glands are part of the hair apparatus. A
Japanese anthropologist, Adachi, has published an interesting study on the
odor of Europeans,[31] which he describes as a strong and pungent
smell,--sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter,--of varying strength in
different individuals, absent in children and the aged, and having its
chief focus in the armpits, which, however carefully they are washed,
immediately become odorous again. Adachi has found that the sweat-glands
are larger in Europeans than in the Japanese, among whom a strong personal
odor is so uncommon that "armpit stink" is a disqualification for the
army. It is certainly true that the white races smell less strongly than
most of the dark races, odor seeming to be correlated to some extent with
intensity of pigmentation, as well as with hairiness; but even the most
scrupulously clean Europeans all smell. This fact may not always be
obvious to human nostrils, apart from intimate contact, but it is well
known to dogs, to whom their masters are recognizable by smell. When Hue
traveled in Tibet in Chinese disguise he was not detected by the natives,
but the dogs recognized him as a foreigner by his smell and barked at him.
Many Chinese can tell by smell when a European has been in a room.[32]
There are, however, some Europeans who can recognize and distinguish their
friends by smell. The case has been recorded of a man who with bandaged
eyes could recognize his acquaintances, at the distance of several paces,
the moment they entered the room. In another case a deaf and blind mute
woman in Massachusetts knew all her acquaintances by smell, and could sort
linen after it came from the wash by the odor alone. Governesses have been
known to be able when blindfolded to recognize the ownership of their
pupil's garments by smell; such a case is known to me. Such odor is
usually described as being agreeable, but not one person in fifty, it is
stated, is able to distinguish it with sufficient precision to use it as a
method of recognition. Among some races, however this aptitude would
appear to be better developed. Dr. C.S. Myers at Sarawak noted that his
Malay boy sorted the clean linen according to the skin-odor of the
wearer.[33] Chinese servants are said to do the same, as well as
Australians and natives of Luzon.[34]

    Although the distinctively individual odor of most persons is not
    sufficiently marked to be generally perceptible, there are cases
    in which it is more distinct to all nostrils. The most famous
    case of this kind is that of Alexander the Great, who, according
    to Plutarch, exhaled so sweet an odor that his tunics were soaked
    with aromatic perfume (_Convivalium Disputationum_, lib. I,
    quest. 6). Malherbe, Cujas, and Haller are said to have diffused
    a musky odor. The agreeable odor of Walt Whitman has been
    remarked by Kennedy and others. The perfume exhaled by many holy
    men and women, so often noted by ancient writers (discussed by
    Goerres in the second volume of his _Christliche Mystik_) and
    which has entered into current phraseology as a merely
    metaphorical "odor of sanctity," was doubtless due, as Hammond
    first pointed out, to abnormal nervous conditions, for it is well
    known that such conditions affect the odor, and in insanity, for
    instance, the presence is noted of bodily odors which have
    sometimes even been considered of diagnostic importance. J.B.
    Friedreich, _Allgemeine Diagnostik der Psychischen Krankheiten_,
    second edition, 1832, pp. 9-10, quotes passages from various
    authors on this point, which he accepts; various writers of more
    recent date have made similar observations.

    The odor of sanctity was specially noted at death, and was
    doubtless confused with the _odor mortis_, which frequently
    precedes death and by some is regarded as an almost certain
    indication of its approach. In the _British Medical Journal_, for
    May and June, 1898, will be found letters from several
    correspondents substantiating this point. One of these
    correspondents (Dr. Tuckey, of Tywardwreath, Cornwall) mentions
    that he has in Cornwall often seen ravens flying over houses in
    which persons lay dying, evidently attracted by a characteristic

It must be borne in mind, however, that, while every person has, to a
sensitive nose, a distinguishing odor, we must regard that odor either as
but one of the various sensations given off by the body, or else as a
combination of two or more of these emanations. The body in reality gives
off a number of different odors. The most important of these are: (1) the
general skin odor, a faint, but agreeable, fragrance often to be detected
on the skin even immediately after washing; (2) the smell of the hair and
scalp; (3) the odor of the breath; (4) the odor of the armpit; (5) the
odor of the feet; (6) the perineal odor; (7) in men the odor of the
preputial smegma; (8) in women the odor of the mons veneris, that of
vulvar smegma, that of vaginal mucus, and the menstrual odor. All these
are odors which may usually be detected, though sometimes only in a very
faint degree, in healthy and well-washed persons under normal conditions.
It is unnecessary here to take into account the special odors of various
secretions and excretions.[35]

It is a significant fact, both as regards the ancestral sexual connections
of the body odors and their actual sexual associations to-day, that, as
Hippocrates long ago noted, it is not until puberty that they assume their
adult characteristics. The infant, the adult, the aged person, each has
his own kind of smell, and, as Monin remarks, it might be possible, within
certain limits, to discover the age of a person by his odor. Jorg in 1832
pointed out that in girls the appearance of a specific smell of the
excreta indicates the establishment of puberty, and Kaan, in his
_Psychopathia Sexualis_, remarked that at puberty "the sweat gives out a
more acrid odor resembling musk." In both sexes puberty, adolescence,
early manhood and womanhood are marked by a gradual development of the
adult odor of skin and excreta, in general harmony with the secondary
sexual development of hair and pigment. Venturi, indeed, has, not without
reason, described the odor of the body as a secondary sexual
character.[36] It may be added that, as is the case with the pigment in
various parts of the body in women, some of these odors tend to become
exaggerated in sympathy with sexual and other emotional states.

    The odor of the infant is said to be of butyric acid; that of old
    people to resemble dry leaves. Continent young men have been said
    by many ancient writers to smell more strongly than the unchaste,
    and some writers have described as "seminal odor"--an odor
    resembling that of animals in heat, faintly recalling that of the
    he-goat, according to Venturi--the exhalations of the skin at
    such times.

    During sexual excitement, as women can testify, a man very
    frequently, if not normally, gives out an odor which, as usually
    described, proceeds from the skin, the breath, or both. Grimaldi
    states that it is as of rancid butter; others say it resembles
    chloroform. It is said to be sometimes perceptible for a distance
    of several feet and to last for several hours after coitus.
    (Various quotations are given by Gould and Pyle, _Anomalies and
    Curiosities of Medicine_, section on "Human Odors," pp. 397-403.)
    St. Philip Neri is said to have been able to recognize a chaste
    man by smell.

    During menstruation girls and young women frequently give off an
    odor which is quite distinct from that of the menstrual fluid,
    and is specially marked in the breath, which may smell of
    chloroform or violets. Pouchet (confirmed by Raciborski, _Traite
    de la Menstruation_, 1868, p. 74) stated that about a day before
    the onset of menstruation a characteristic smell is exuded.
    Menstruating girls are also said sometimes to give off a smell of
    leather. Aubert, of Lyons (as quoted by Galopin), describes the
    odor of the skin of a woman during menstruation as an agreeable
    aromatic or acidulous perfume of chloroform character. By some
    this is described as emanating especially from the armpits.
    Sandras (quoted by Raciborski) knew a lady who could always tell
    by a sensation of faintness and _malaise_--apparently due to a
    sensation of smell--when she was in contact with a menstruating
    woman. I am acquainted with a man, having strong olfactory
    sympathies and antipathies, who detects the presence of
    menstruation by smell. It is said that Hortense Bare, who
    accompanied her lover, the botanist Commerson, to the Pacific
    disguised as a man, was recognized by the natives as a woman by
    means of smell.

    Women, like men, frequently give out an odor during coitus or
    strong sexual excitement. This odor may be entirely different
    from that normally emanating from the woman, of an acid or
    hircine character, and sufficiently strong to remain in a room
    for a considerable period. Many of the ancient medical writers
    (as quoted by Schurigius, _Parthenologia_, p. 286) described the
    goaty smell produced by venery, especially in women; they
    regarded it as specially marked in harlots and in the newly
    married, and sometimes even considered it a certain sign of
    defloration. The case has been recorded of a woman who emitted a
    rose odor for two days after coitus (McBride, quoted by Kiernan
    in an interesting summary, "Odor in Pathology," _Doctor's
    Magazine_, December, 1900). There was, it is said (_Journal des
    Savans_ 1684, p. 39, quoting from the _Journal d'Angleterre_) a
    monk in Prague who could recognize by smell the chastity of the
    women who approached him. (This monk, it is added, when he died,
    was composing a new science of odors.)

    Gustav Klein (as quoted by Adler, _Die Mangelhafte
    Geschlechtsempfindungen des Weibes_, p. 25) argues that the
    special function of the glands at the vulvar orifice--the
    _glandulae vestibulares majores_--is to give out an odorous
    secretion to act as an attraction to the male, this relic of
    sexual periodicity no longer, however, playing an important part
    in the human species. The vulvar secretion, however, it may be
    added, still has a more aromatic odor than the vaginal secretion,
    with its simple mucous odor, very clearly perceived during

    It may be added that we still know extremely little concerning
    the sexual odors of women among primitive peoples. Ploss and
    Bartels are only able to bring forward (_Das Weib_, 1901, bd. 1,
    p. 218) a statement concerning the women of New Caledonia, who,
    according to Moncelon, when young and ardent, give out during
    coitus a powerful odor which no ablution will remove. In abnormal
    states of sexual excitement such odor may be persistent, and,
    according to an ancient observation, a nymphomaniac, whose
    periods of sexual excitement lasted all through the spring-time,
    at these periods always emitted a goatlike odor. It has been said
    (G. Tourdes, art. "Aphrodisie," _Dictionnaire Encyclopedique des
    Sciences Medicales_) that the erotic temperament is characterized
    by a special odor.

If the body odors tend to develop at puberty, to be maintained during
sexual life, especially in sympathy with conditions of sexual disturbance,
and to become diminished in old age, being thus a kind of secondary sexual
character, we should expect them to be less marked in those cases in which
the primary sexual characters are less marked. It is possible that this is
actually the case. Hagen, in his _Sexuelle Osphresiologie_, quotes from
Roubaud's _Traite de l'Impuissance_ the statement that the body odor of
the castrated differs from that of normal individuals. Burdach had
previously stated that the odor of the eunuch is less marked than that of
the normal man.

It is thus possible that defective sexual development tends to be
associated with corresponding olfactory defect. Heschl[37] has reported a
case in which absence of both olfactory nerves coincided with defective
development of the sexual organs. Fere remarks that the impotent show a
repugnance for sexual odors. Dr. Kiernan informs me that in women after
ooephorectomy he has noted a tendency to diminished (and occasionally
increased) sense of smell. These questions, however, await more careful
and extended observation.

A very significant transition from the phenomena of personal odor to those
of sexual attraction by personal odor is to be found in the fact that
among the peoples inhabiting a large part of the world's surface the
ordinary salutation between friends is by mutual smelling of the person.
In some form or another the method of salutation by applying the nose to
the nose, face, or hand of a friend in greeting is found throughout a
large part of the Pacific, among the Papuans, the Eskimo, the hill tribes
of India, in Africa, and elsewhere.[38] Thus, among a certain hill tribe
in India, according to Lewin, they smell a friend's cheek: "in their
language, they do not say, 'Give me a kiss,' but they say 'Smell me.'" And
on the Gambia, according to F. Moore, "When the men salute the women,
they, instead of shaking their hands, put it up to their noses, and smell
twice to the back of it." Here we have very clearly a recognition of the
emotional value of personal odor widely prevailing throughout the world.
The salutation on an olfactory basis may, indeed, be said to be more
general than the salutation on a tactile basis on which European
handshaking rests, each form involving one of the two most intimate and
emotional senses. The kiss may be said to be a development proceeding both
from the olfactory and the tactile bases, with perhaps some other elements
as well, and is too complex to be regarded as a phenomenon of either
purely tactile or purely olfactory origin.[39]

As the sole factor in sexual selection olfaction must be rare. It is said
that Asiatic princes have sometimes caused a number of the ladies to race
in the seraglio garden until they were heated; their garments have then
been brought to the prince, who has selected one of them solely by the
odor.[40] There was here a sexual selection mainly by odor. Any exclusive
efficacy of the olfactory sense is rare, not so much because the
impressions of this sense are inoperative, but because agreeable personal
odors are not sufficiently powerful, and the olfactory organ is too
obtuse, to enable smell to take precedence of sight. Nevertheless, in many
people, it is probable that certain odors, especially those that are
correlated with a healthy and sexually desirable person, tend to be
agreeable; they are fortified by their association with the loved person,
sometimes to an irresistible degree; and their potency is doubtless
increased by the fact, to which reference has already been made, that many
odors, including some bodily odors, are nervous stimulants.

It is possible that the sexual associations of odors have been still
further fortified by a tendency to correlation between a high development
of the olfactory organ and a high development of the sexual apparatus. An
association between a large nose and a large male organ is a very ancient
observation and has been verified occasionally in recent times. There is
normally at puberty a great increase in the septum of the nose, and it is
quite conceivable, in view of the sympathy, which, as we shall see,
certainly exists between the olfactory and sexual region, that the two
regions may develop together under a common influence.

    The Romans firmly believed in the connection between a large nose
    and a large penis. "Noscitur e naso quanta sit hasta viro,"
    stated Ovid. This belief continued to prevail, especially in
    Italy, through the middle ages; the physiognomists made much of
    it, and licentious women (like Joanna of Naples) were, it
    appears, accustomed to bear it in mind, although disappointment
    is recorded often to have followed. (See e.g., the quotations and
    references given by J.N. Mackenzie, "Physiological and
    Pathological Relations between the Nose and the Sexual Apparatus
    in Man." _Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin_, No. 82, January,
    1898; also Hagen, _Sexuelle Osphresiologie_, pp. 15-19.) A
    similar belief as to the association between the sexual impulse
    in women and a long nose was evidently common in England in the
    sixteenth century, for in Massinger's _Emperor of the East_ (Act
    II, Scene I) we read,

        "Her nose, which by its length assures me
        Of storms at midnight if I fail to pay her
        The tribute she expects."

    At the present day, a proverb of the Venetian people still
    embodies the belief in the connection between a large nose and a
    large sexual member.

    The probability that such an association tends in many cases to
    prevail is indicated not only by the beliefs of antiquity, when
    more careful attention was paid to these matters, but by the
    testimony of various modern observers, although it does not
    appear that any series of exact observations have yet been made.

    It may be noted that Marro, in his careful anthropological study
    of criminals (_I Caratteri dei Delinquenti_), found no class of
    criminals with so large a proportion alike of anomalies of the
    nose and anomalies of the genital organs as sexual offenders.

However this may be, it is less doubtful that there is a very intimate
relation both in men and women between the olfactory mucous membrane of
the nose and the whole genital apparatus, that they frequently show a
sympathetic action, that influences acting on the genital sphere will
affect the nose, and occasionally, it is probable, influences acting on
the nose reflexly affect the genital sphere. To discuss these
relationships would here be out of place, since specialists are not
altogether in agreement concerning the matter. A few are inclined to
regard the association as extremely intimate, so that each region is
sensitive even to slight stimuli applied to the other region, while, on
the other hand, many authorities ignore altogether the question of the
relationship. It would appear, however, that there really is, in a
considerable number of people at all events, a reflex connection of this
kind. It has especially been noted that in many cases congestion of the
nose precedes menstruation.

Bleeding of the nose is specially apt to occur at puberty and during
adolescence, while in women it may take the place of menstruation and is
sometimes more apt to occur at the menstrual periods; disorders of the
nose have also been found to be aggravated at these periods. It has even
been possible to control bleeding of the nose, both in men and women, by
applying ice to the sexual regions. In both men and women, again, cases
have been recorded in which sexual excitement, whether of coitus or
masturbation, has been followed by bleeding of the nose. In numerous cases
it is followed by slight congestive conditions of the nasal passages and
especially by sneezing. Various authors have referred to this phenomenon;
I am acquainted with a lady in whom it is fairly constant.[41] Fere
records the case of a lady, a nervous subject, who began to experience
intense spontaneous sexual excitement shortly after marriage, accompanied
by much secretion from the nose.[42] J.N. Mackenzie is acquainted with a
number of such cases, and he considers that the popular expression
"bride's cold" indicates that this effect of strong sexual excitement is
widely recognized.

    The late Professor Hack, of Freiburg, in 1884, called general
    medical attention to the intimate connection between the nose and
    states of nervous hyperexcitability in various parts of the body,
    although such a connection had been recognized for many centuries
    in medical literature. While Hack and his disciples thus gave
    prominence to this association, they undoubtedly greatly
    exaggerated its importance and significance. (Sir Felix Semon,
    _British Medical Journal_, November 9, 1901.) Even many workers
    who have more recently further added to our knowledge have also,
    as sometimes happens with enthusiasts, unduly strained their own
    data. Starting from the fact that in women during menstruation
    examination of the nose reveals a degree of congestion not found
    during the rest of the month, Fliess (_Die Beziehungen zwischen
    Nase und Weiblichen Geschlechtsorganen_, 1897), with the help of
    a number of elaborate and prolonged observations, has reached
    conclusions which, while they seem to be hazardous at some
    points, have certainly contributed to build up our knowledge of
    this obscure subject. Schiff (_Wiener klinische Wochenschrift_,
    1900, p. 58, summarized in _British Medical Journal_, February
    16, 1901), starting from a skeptical standpoint, has confirmed
    some of Fliess's results, and in a large number of cases
    controlled painful menstruation by painting with cocaine the
    so-called "genital spots" in the nose, all possibility of
    suggestion being avoided. Ries, of Chicago, has been similarly
    successful with the method of Fliess (_American Gynaecology_, vol.
    iii, No. 4, 1903). Benedikt (_Wiener medicinische Wochenschrift_,
    No. 8, 1901, summarized in _Journal of Medical Science_, October,
    1901), while pointing out that the nose is not the only organ in
    sympathetic relation with the sexual sphere, suggests that the
    mechanism of the relationship is involved in the larger problem
    of the harmony in growth and in nutrition of the different parts
    of the organism. In this way, probably, we may attach
    considerable significance to the existence of a kind of erectile
    tissue in the nose.

    An interesting example of a reflex influence from the nose
    affecting the genital sphere has been brought forward by Dr. E.S.
    Talbot, of Chicago: "A 56-year-old man was operated on
    (September 1, 1903) for the removal of the left cartilage of the
    septum of the nose owing to a previous traumatic fracture at the
    sixteenth year. No pain was experienced until two years ago, when
    a continual soreness occurred at the apical end of the fracture
    during the winter months. The operation was decided upon fearing
    more serious complications. The parts were cocainized. No pain
    was experienced in the operation except at one point at the lower
    posterior portion near the floor of the nose. A profound shock to
    the general system followed. The reflex influence of the pain
    upon the genital organs caused semen to flow continually for
    three weeks. Treatment of general motor irritability with camphor
    monobromate and conium, on consultation with Dr. Kiernan, checked
    the flow. The discharge produced spinal neurasthenia. The legs
    and feet felt heavy. Erythromelalgia caused uneasiness. The
    patient walked with difficulty. The tired feeling in the feet and
    limbs was quite noticeable four months after the operation,
    although the pain had, to a great extent diminished." (Chicago
    Academy of Medicine, January, 1904, and private letter.)

    J.N. Mackenzie has brought together a great many original
    observations, together with interesting quotations from old
    medical literature, in his two papers: "The Pathological Nasal
    Reflex" (_New York Medical Journal_, August 20, 1887) and "The
    Physiological and Pathological Relations between the Nose and the
    Sexual Apparatus of Man" (_Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin_,
    January 1, 1898). A number of cases have also been brought
    together from the literature by G. Endriss in his Inaugural
    Dissertation, _Die bisherigen Beobachtungen von Physiologischen
    und Pathologischen Beziehungen der oberen Luftwege zu den
    Sexualorganen_, Teil. II, Wuerzburg, 1892.

The intimate association between the sexual centers and the olfactory
tract is well illustrated by the fact that this primitive and ancient
association tends to come to the surface in insanity. It is recognized by
many alienists that insanity of a sexual character is specially liable to
be associated with hallucinations of smell.

    Many eminent alienists in various countries are very decidedly of
    the opinion that there is a special tendency to the association
    of olfactory hallucinations with sexual manifestations, and,
    although one or two authorities have expressed doubt on the
    matter, the available evidence clearly indicates such an
    association. Hallucinations of smell are comparatively rare as
    compared to hallucinations of sight and hearing; they are
    commoner in women than in men and they not infrequently occur at
    periods of sexual disturbance, at adolescence, in puerperal
    fever, at the change of life, in women with ovarian troubles, and
    in old people troubled with sexual desires or remorse for such
    desires. They have often been noted as specially frequent in
    cases of excessive masturbation.

    Krafft-Ebing, who found olfactory hallucinations common in
    various sexual states, considers that they are directly dependent
    on sexual excitement (_Allgemeine Zeitschrift fuer Psychiatrie_,
    bd. 34, ht. 4, 1877). Conolly Norman believes in a distinct and
    frequent association between olfactory hallucinations and sexual
    disturbance (_Journal of Mental Science_, July, 1899, p. 532).
    Savage is also impressed by the close association between sexual
    disturbance or changes in the reproductive organs and
    hallucinations of smell as well as of touch. He has found that
    persistent hallucinations of smell disappeared when a diseased
    ovary was removed, although the patient remained insane. He
    considers that such hallucinations of smell are allied to
    reversions. (G.H. Savage, "Smell, Hallucinations of," Tuke's
    _Dictionary of Psychological Medicine_; cf. the same author's
    manual of _Insanity and Allied Neuroses_.) Matusch, while not
    finding olfactory hallucinations common at the climacteric,
    states that when they are present they are connected with uterine
    trouble and sexual craving. He finds them more common in young
    women. (Matusch, "Der Einfluss des Climacterium auf Entstchung
    und Form der Geistesstoerung," _Allgemeine Zeitschrift fuer
    Psychiatrie_, vol. xlvi, ht. 4). Fere has related a significant
    case of a young man in whom hallucinations of smell accompanied
    the sexual orgasm; he subsequently developed epilepsy, to which
    the hallucination then constituted the aura (_Comptes Rendus de
    la Societe de Biologie_, December, 1896). The prevalence of a
    sexual element in olfactory hallucinations has been investigated
    by Bullen, who examined into 95 cases of hallucinations of smell
    among the patients in several asylums. (In a few cases there were
    reasons for believing that peripheral conditions existed which
    would render these hallucinations more strictly illusions.) Of
    these, 64 were women. Sixteen of the women were climacteric
    cases, and 3 of them had sexual hallucinations or delusions.
    Fourteen other women (chiefly cases of chronic delusional
    insanity) had sexual delusions. Altogether, 31 men and women had
    sexual delusions. This is a large proportion. Bullen is not,
    however, inclined to admit any direct connection between the
    reproductive system and the sense of smell. He finds that other
    hallucinations are very frequently associated with the olfactory
    hallucinations, and considers that the co-existence of olfactory
    and sexual troubles simply indicates a very deep and widespread
    nervous disturbance. (F. St. John Bullen, "Olfactory
    Hallucinations in the Insane," _Journal of Mental Science_, July,
    1899.) In order to elucidate the matter fully we require further
    precise inquiries on the lines Bullen has laid down.

    It may be of interest to note, in this connection, that smell and
    taste hallucinations appear to be specially frequent in forms of
    religious insanity. Thus, Dr. Zurcher, in her inaugural
    dissertation on Joan of Arc (_Jeanne d'Arc_, Leipzig, 1895, p.
    72), estimates that on the average in such insanity nearly 50 per
    cent, of the hallucinations affect smell and taste; she refers
    also to the olfactory hallucinations of great religious leaders,
    Francis of Assisi, Katherina Emmerich, Lazzaretti, and the

It may well be, as Zwaardemaker has suggested in his _Physiologie des
Geruchs_, that the nasal congestion at menstruation and similar phenomena
are connected with that association of smell and sexuality which is
observable throughout the whole animal world, and that the congestion
brings about a temporary increase of olfactory sensitiveness during the
stage of sexual excitation.[43] Careful investigation of olfactory
acuteness would reveal the existence of such menstrual heightening of its

In a few exceptional, but still quite healthy people, smell would appear
to possess an emotional predominance which it cannot be said to possess in
the average person. These exceptional people are of what Binet in his
study of sexual fetichism calls olfactive type; such persons form a group
which, though of smaller size and less importance, is fairly comparable to
the well-known groups of visual type, of auditory type, and of psychomotor
type. Such people would be more attentive to odors, more moved by
olfactory sympathies and antipathies, than are ordinary people. For these,
it may well be, the supremacy accorded to olfactory influences in Jaeger's
_Entdeckung der Seele_, though extravagantly incorrect for ordinary
persons, may appear quite reasonable.

It is certain also that a great many neurasthenic people, and
particularly those who are sexually neurasthenic, are peculiarly
susceptible to olfactory influences. A number of eminent poets and
novelists--especially, it would appear, in France--seem to be in this
case. Baudelaire, of all great poets, has most persistently and most
elaborately emphasized the imaginative and emotional significance of odor;
the _Fleurs du Mal_ and many of the _Petits Poemes en Prose_ are, from
this point of view, of great interest. There can be no doubt that in
Baudelaire's own imaginative and emotional life the sense of smell played
a highly important part; and that, in his own words, odor was to him what
music is to others. Throughout Zola's novels--and perhaps more especially
in _La Faute de l'Abbe Mouret_--there is an extreme insistence on odors of
every kind. Prof. Leopold Bernard wrote an elaborate study of this aspect
of Zola's work[44]; he believed that underlying Zola's interest in odors
there was an abnormally keen olfactory sensibility and large development
of the olfactory region of the brain. Such a supposition is, however,
unnecessary, and, as a matter of fact, a careful examination of Zola's
olfactory sensibility, conducted by M. Passy, showed that it was somewhat
below normal.[45] At the same time it was shown that Zola was really a
person of olfactory psychic type, with a special attention to odors and a
special memory for them; as is frequently the case with perfumers with
less than normal olfactory acuity he possessed a more than normal power of
discriminating odors; it is possible that in early life his olfactory
acuity may also have been above normal. In the same way Nietzsche, in his
writings, shows a marked sensibility, and especially antipathy, as regards
odors, which has by some been regarded as an index to a real physical
sensibility of abnormal keenness; according to Moebius, however, there was
no reason for supposing this to be the case.[46] Huysmans, who throughout
his books reveals a very intense preoccupation with the exact shades of
many kinds of sensory impressions, and an apparently abnormally keen
sensibility to them, has shown a great interest in odors, more especially
in an oft-quoted passage in _A Rebours_. The blind Milton of "Paradise
Lost" (as the late Mr. Grant Allen once remarked to me), dwells much on
scents; in this case it is doubtless to the blindness and not to any
special organic predisposition that we must attribute this direction of
sensory attention.[47] Among our older English poets, also, Herrick
displays a special interest in odors with a definite realization of their
sexual attractiveness.[48] Shelley, who was alive to so many of the
unusual aesthetic aspects of things, often shows an enthusiastic delight in
odors, more especially those of flowers. It may, indeed, be said that most
poets--though to a less degree than those I have mentioned--devote a
special attention to odors, and, since it has been possible to describe
smell as the sense of imagination, this need not surprise us. That
Shakespeare, for instance, ranked this sense very high indeed is shown by
various passages in his works and notably by Sonnet LIV: "O, how much more
doth beauty beauteous seem?"--in which he implicitly places the attraction
of odor on at least as high a level as that of vision.[49]

A neurasthenic sensitiveness to odors, specially sexual odors, is
frequently accompanied by lack of sexual vigor. In this way we may account
for the numerous cases in which old men in whom sexual desire survives the
loss of virile powers--probably somewhat abnormal persons at the
outset--find satisfaction in sexual odors. Here, also, we have the basis
for olfactory fetichism. In such fetichism the odor of the woman alone,
whoever she may be and however unattractive she may be, suffices to
furnish complete sexual satisfaction. In many, although not all, of those
cases in which articles of women's clothing become the object of
fetichistic attraction, there is certainly an olfactory element due to the
personal odor attaching to the garments.[50]

    Olfactory influences play a certain part in various sexually
    abnormal tendencies and practices which do not proceed from an
    exclusively olfactory fascination. Thus, _cunnilingus_ and
    _fellatio_ derive part of their attraction, more especially in
    some individuals, from a predilection for the odors of the sexual
    parts. (See, e.g., Moll, _Untersuchungen ueber die Libido
    Sexualis_, bd. 1, p. 134.) In many cases smell plays no part in
    the attraction; "I enjoy _cunnilingus_, if I like the girl very
    much," a correspondent writes, "_in spite_ of the smell." We may
    associate this impulse with the prevalence of these practices
    among sexual inverts, in whom olfactory attractions are often
    specially marked. Those individuals, also, who are sexually
    affected by the urinary and alvine excretions ("_renifleurs_,"
    "_stereoraires_," etc.) are largely, though not necessarily
    altogether, moved by olfactory impressions. The attraction was,
    however, exclusively olfactory in the case of the young woman
    recorded by Moraglia (_Archivio di Psichiatria_, 1892, p. 267),
    who was irresistibly excited by the odor of the fermented urine
    of men, and possibly also in the case narrated to Moraglia by
    Prof. L. Bianchi (ib. p. 568), in which a wife required flatus
    from her husband.

    The sexual pleasure derived from partial strangulation (discussed
    in the study of "Love and Pain" in a previous volume) may be
    associated with heightened olfactory sexual excitation. Dr.
    Kiernan, who points this out to me, has investigated a few
    neuropathic patients who like to have their necks squeezed, as
    they express it, and finds that in the majority the olfactory
    sensibility is thus intensified.

Even in ordinary normal persons, however, there can be no doubt that
personal odor tends to play a not inconsiderable part in sexual
attractions and sexual repulsions. As a sexual excitant, indeed, it comes
far behind the stimuli received through the sense of sight. The
comparative bluntness of the sense of smell in man makes it difficult for
olfactory influence to be felt, as a rule, until the preliminaries of
courtship are already over; so that it is impossible for smell ever to
possess the same significance in sexual attraction in man that it
possesses in the lower animals. With that reservation there can be no
doubt that odor has a certain favorable or unfavorable influence in sexual
relationships in all human races from the lowest to the highest. The
Polynesian spoke with contempt of those women of European race who "have
no smell," and in view of the pronounced personal odor of so many savage
peoples as well as of the careful attention which they so often pay to
odors, we may certainly assume, even in the absence of much definite
evidence, that smell counts for much in their sexual relationships. This
is confirmed by such practices as that found among some primitive
peoples--as, it is stated, in the Philippines--of lovers exchanging their
garments to have the smell of the loved one about them. In the barbaric
stages of society this element becomes self-conscious and is clearly
avowed; personal odors are constantly described with complacency,
sometimes as mingled with the lavish use of artificial perfumes, in much
of the erotic literature produced in the highest stages of barbarism,
especially by Eastern peoples living in hot climates; it is only necessary
to refer to the _Song of Songs_, the _Arabian Nights_, and the Indian
treatises on love. Even in some parts of Europe the same influence is
recognized in the crudest animal form, and Krauss states that among the
Southern Slavs it is sometimes customary to leave the sexual parts
unwashed because a strong odor of these parts is regarded as a sexual
stimulant. Under the usual conditions of life in Europe personal odor has
sunk into the background; this has been so equally under the conditions of
classic, mediaeval, and modern life. Personal odor has been generally
regarded as unaesthetic; it has, for the most part, only been mentioned to
be reprobated, and even those poets and others who during recent centuries
have shown a sensitive delight and interest in odors--Herrick, Shelley,
Baudelaire, Zola, and Huysmans--have seldom ventured to insist that a
purely natural and personal odor can be agreeable. The fact that it may be
so, and that for most people such odors cannot be a matter of indifference
in the most intimate of all relationships, is usually only to be learned
casually and incidentally. There can be no doubt, however, that, as
Kiernan points out, the extent to which olfaction influences the sexual
sphere in civilized man has been much underestimated. We need not,
therefore, be surprised at the greater interest which has recently been
taken in this subject. As usually happens, indeed, there has been in some
writers a tendency to run to the opposite extreme, and we cannot, with
Gustav Jaeger, regard the sexual instinct as mainly or altogether an
olfactory matter.

    Of the Padmini, the perfect woman, the "lotus woman," Hindu
    writers say that "her sweat has the odor of musk," while the
    vulgar woman, they say, smells of fish (_Kama Sutra of
    Vatsyayana_). Ploss and Bartels (_Das Weib_, 1901, p. 218) bring
    forward a passage from the Tamil _Kokkogam_, minutely describing
    various kinds of sexual odor in women, which they regard as
    resting on sound observation.

    Four things in a woman, says the Arab, should be perfumed: the
    mouth, the armpits, the pudenda, and the nose. The Persian poets,
    in describing the body, delighted to use metaphors involving
    odor. Not only the hair and the down on the face, but the chin,
    the mouth, the beauty spots, the neck, all suggested odorous
    images. The epithets applied to the hair frequently refer to
    musk, ambergris, and civet. (_Anis El-Ochchaq_ translated by
    Huart, _Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes_, fasc. 25,

    The Hebrew _Song of Songs_ furnishes a typical example of a very
    beautiful Eastern love-poem in which the importance of the appeal
    to the sense of smell is throughout emphasized. There are in this
    short poem as many as twenty-four fairly definite references to
    odors,--personal odors, perfumes, and flowers,--while numerous
    other references to flowers, etc., seem to point to olfactory
    associations. Both the lover and his sweetheart express pleasure
    in each other's personal odor.

        "My beloved is unto me," she sings, "as a bag of myrrh
        That lieth between my breasts;
        My beloved is unto me as a cluster of henna flowers
        In the vineyard of En-gedi."

    And again: "His cheeks are as a bed of spices [or balsam], as
    banks of sweet herbs." While of her he says: "The smell of thy
    breath [or nose] is like apples."

    Greek and Roman antiquity, which has so largely influenced the
    traditions of modern Europe, was lavish in the use of perfumes,
    but showed no sympathy with personal odors. For the Roman
    satirists, like Martial, a personal odor is nearly always an
    unpleasant odor, though, there are a few allusions in classic
    literature recognizing bodily smell as a sexual attraction. Ovid,
    in his _Ars Amandi_ (Book III), says it is scarcely necessary to
    remind a lady that she must not keep a goat in her armpits: "_ne
    trux caper iret in alas_." "_Mulier tum bene olet ubi nihil
    olet_" is an ancient dictum, and in the sixteenth century
    Montaigne still repeated the same saying with complete approval.

    A different current of feeling began to appear with the new
    emotional movement during the eighteenth century. Rousseau called
    attention to the importance of the olfactory sense, and in his
    educational work, _Emile_ (Bk. II), he referred to the odor of a
    woman's "_cabinet de toilette_" as not so feeble a snare as is
    commonly supposed. In the same century Casanova wrote still more
    emphatically concerning the same point; in the preface to his
    _Memoires_ he states: "I have always found sweet the odor of the
    women I have loved"; and elsewhere: "There is something in the
    air of the bedroom of the woman one loves, something so intimate,
    so balsamic, such voluptuous emanations, that if a lover had to
    choose between Heaven and this place of delight his hesitation
    would not last for a moment" (_Memoires_, vol. iii). In the
    previous century, in England, Sir Kenelm Digby, in his
    interesting and remarkable _Private Memoirs_, when describing a
    visit to Lady Venetia Stanley, afterward his wife, touches on
    personal odor as an element of attraction; he had found her
    asleep in bed and on her breasts "did glisten a few drops of
    sweatlike diamond sparks, and had a more fragrant odor than the
    violets or primroses whose season was newly passed."

    In 1821 Cadet-Devaux published, in the _Revue Encyclopedique_, a
    study entitled "De l'atmosphere de la Femme et de sa Puissance,"
    which attracted a great deal of attention in Germany as well as
    in France; he considered that the exhalations of the feminine
    body are of the first importance in sexual attraction.

    Prof. A. Galopin in 1886 wrote a semiscientific book, _Le Parfum
    de la Femme_, in which the sexual significance of personal odor
    is developed to its fullest. He writes with enthusiasm concerning
    the sweet and health-giving character of the natural perfume of a
    beloved woman, and the mischief done both to health and love by
    the use of artificial perfumes. "The purest marriage that can be
    contracted between a man and a woman," he asserts (p. 157) "is
    that engendered by olfaction and sanctioned by a common
    assimilation in the brain of the animated molecules due to the
    secretion and evaporation of two bodies in contact and sympathy."

    In a book written during the first half of the nineteenth century
    which contains various subtle observations on love we read, with
    reference to the sweet odor which poets have found in the breath
    of women: "In reality many women have an intoxicatingly agreeable
    breath which plays no small part in the love-compelling
    atmosphere which they spread around them" (_Eros oder Woerterbuch
    ueber die Physiologie_, 1849, Bd. 1, p. 45).

    Most of the writers on the psychology of love at this period,
    however, seem to have passed over the olfactory element in sexual
    attraction, regarding it probably as too unaesthetic. It receives
    no emphasis either in Senancour's _De l'Amour_ or Stendhal's _De
    l'Amour_ or Michelet's _L'Amour_.

    The poets within recent times have frequently referred to odors,
    personal and other, but the novelists have more rarely done so.
    Zola and Huysmans, the two novelists who have most elaborately
    and insistently developed the olfactory side of life, have dwelt
    more on odors that are repulsive than on those that are
    agreeable. It is therefore of interest to note that in a few
    remarkable novels of recent times the attractiveness of personal
    odor has been emphasized. This is notably so in Tolstoy's _War
    and Peace_, in which Count Peter suddenly resolves to marry
    Princess Helena after inhaling her odor at a ball. In
    d'Annunzio's _Trionfo della Morte_ the seductive and consoling
    odor of the beloved woman's skin is described in several
    passages; thus, when Giorgio kissed Ippolita's arms and
    shoulders, we are told, "he perceived the sharp and yet delicate
    perfume of her, the perfume of the skin that in the hour of joy
    became intoxicating as that of the tuberose, and a terrible lash
    to desire."

When we are dealing with the sexual significance of personal odors in man
there is at the outset an important difference to be noticed in comparison
with the lower mammals. Not only is the significance of odor altogether
very much less, but the focus of olfactory attractiveness has been
displaced. The centre of olfactory attractiveness is not, as usually among
animals, in the sexual region, but is transferred to the upper part of the
body. In this respect the sexual olfactory allurement in man resembles
what we find in the sphere of vision, for neither the sexual organs of man
nor of woman are usually beautiful in the eyes of the opposite sex, and
their exhibition is not among us regarded as a necessary stage in
courtship. The odor of the body, like its beauty, in so far as it can be
regarded as a possible sexual allurement, has in the course of development
been transferred to the upper parts. The careful concealment of the sexual
region has doubtless favored this transfer. It has thus happened that when
personal odor acts as a sexual allurement it is the armpit, in any case
normally the chief focus of odor in the body, which mainly comes into
play, together with the skin and the hair.

    Aubert, of Lyons, noted that during menstruation the odor of the
    armpits may become more powerful, and describes it as being at
    this time an aromatic odor of acidulous or chloroform character.
    Galopin remarks that, while some women's armpits smell of sheep
    in rut, others, when exposed to the air, have a fragrance of
    ambergris or violet. Dark persons (according to Gould and Pyle)
    are said sometimes to exhale a prussic acid odor, and blondes
    more frequently musk; Galopin associates the ambergris odor more
    especially with blondes.

    While some European poets have faintly indicated the woman's
    armpit as a centre of sexual attraction, it is among Eastern
    poets that we may find the idea more directly and naturally
    expressed. Thus, in a Chinese drama ("The Transmigration of
    Yo-Chow," _Mercure de France_, No. 8, 1901) we find a learned
    young doctor addressing the following poem to his  betrothed:--

        "When I have climbed to the bushy summit of Mount Chao,
        I have still not reached to the level of your odorous armpit.
        I must needs mount to the sky
        Before the breeze brings to me
        The perfume of that embalsamed nest!"

    This poet seems, however, to have been carried to a pitch of
    enthusiasm unusual even in China, for his future mother-in-law,
    after expressing her admiration for the poem, remarks: "But who
    would have thought one could find so many beautiful things under
    my daughter's armpit!"

    The odor of the armpit is the most powerful in the body,
    sufficiently powerful to act as a muscular stimulant even in the
    absence of any direct sexual association. This is indicated by an
    observation made by Fere, who noticed, when living opposite a
    laundry, that an old woman who worked near the window would,
    toward the close of the day, introduce her right hand under the
    sleeve of the other to the armpit and then hold it to her nose;
    this she would do about every five minutes. It was evident that
    the odor acted as a stimulant to her failing energies. Fere has
    been informed by others who have had occasion to frequent
    workrooms that this proceeding is by no means uncommon among
    persons of both sexes. (Fere, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, second
    edition, p. 135.) I have myself noticed the same gesture very
    deliberately made in the street by a young English woman of the
    working class, under circumstances which suggested that it acted
    as an immediate stimulant in fatigue.

    Huysmans--who in his novels has insisted on odors, both those of
    a personal kind and perfumes, with great precision--has devoted
    one of the sketches, "Le Gousset," in his _Croquis Parisiens_
    (1880) to the varying odors of women's armpits. "I have followed
    this fragrance in the country," he remarks, "behind a group of
    women gleaners under the bright sun. It was excessive and
    terrible; it stung your nostrils like an unstoppered bottle of
    alkali; it seized you, irritating your mucous membrane with a
    rough odor which had in it something of the relish of wild duck
    cooked with olives and the sharp odor of the shallot. On the
    whole, it was not a vile or repugnant emanation; it united, as an
    anticipated thing, with the formidable odors of the landscape; it
    was the pure note, completing with the human animals' cry of heat
    the odorous melody of beasts and woods." He goes on to speak of
    the perfume of feminine arms in the ball-room. "There the aroma
    is of ammoniated valerian, of chlorinated urine, brutally
    accentuated sometimes, even with a slight scent of prussic acid
    about it, a faint whiff of overripe peaches." These
    "spice-boxes," however, Huysmans continues, are more seductive
    when their perfume is filtered through the garments. "The appeal
    of the balsam of their arms is then less insolent, less cynical,
    than at the ball where they are more naked, but it more easily
    uncages the animal in man. Various as the color of the hair, the
    odor of the armpit is infinitely divisible; its gamut covers the
    whole keyboard of odors, reaching the obstinate scents of syringa
    and elder, and sometimes recalling the sweet perfume of the
    rubbed fingers that have held a cigarette. Audacious and
    sometimes fatiguing in the brunette and the black woman, sharp
    and fierce in the red woman, the armpit is heady as some sugared
    wines in the blondes." It will be noted that this very exact
    description corresponds at various points with the remarks of
    more scientific observers.

    Sometimes the odor of the armpit may even become a kind of fetich
    which is craved for its own sake and in itself suffices to give
    pleasure. Fere has recorded such a case, in a friend of his own,
    a man of 60, with whom at one time he used to hunt, of robust
    health and belonging to a healthy family. On these hunting
    expeditions he used to tease the girls and women he met
    (sometimes even rather old women) in a surprising manner, when he
    came upon them walking in the fields with their short-sleeved
    chemises exposed. When he had succeeded in introducing his hand
    into the woman's armpit he went away satisfied, and frequently
    held the hand to his nose with evident pleasure. After long
    hesitation Fere asked for an explanation, which was frankly
    given. As a child he had liked the odor, without knowing why. As
    a young man women with strong odors had stimulated him to
    extraordinary sexual exploits, and now they were the only women
    who had any influence on him. He professed to be able to
    recognize continence by the odor, as well as the most favorable
    moment for approaching a woman. Throughout life a cold in the
    head had always been accompanied by persistent general
    excitement. (Fere, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, 1902, p. 134.)

We not only have to recognize that in the course of evolution the specific
odors of the sexual region have sunk into the background as a source of
sexual allurements, we have further to recognize the significant fact that
even those personal odors which are chiefly liable under normal
circumstances to come occasionally within the conscious sexual sphere, and
indeed purely personal odors of all kinds, fail to exert any attraction,
but rather tend to cause antipathy, unless some degree of tumescence has
already been attained. That is to say, our olfactory experiences of the
human body approximate rather to our tactile experiences of it than to our
visual experiences. Sight is our most intellectual sense, and we trust
ourselves to it with comparative boldness without any undue dread that its
messages will hurt us by their personal intimacy; we even court its
experiences, for it is the chief organ of our curiosity, as smell is of a
dog's. But smell with us has ceased to be a leading channel of
intellectual curiosity. Personal odors do not, as vision does, give us
information that is very largely intellectual; they make an appeal that is
mainly of an intimate, emotional, imaginative character. They thus tend,
when we are in our normal condition, to arouse what James calls the
antisexual instinct.

    "I cannot understand how people do not see how the senses are
    connected," said Jenny Lind to J.A. Symonds (Horatio Brown, _J.A.
    Symonds_, vol. i, p. 207). "What I have suffered from my sense of
    smell! My youth was misery from my acuteness of sensibility."

    Mantegazza discusses the strength of olfactory antipathies
    (_Fisiologia dell' Odio_, p. 101), and mentions that once when
    ill in Paraguay he was nursed by an Indian girl of 16, who was
    fresh as a peach and extremely clean, but whose odor--"a mixture
    of wild beast's lair and decayed onions"--caused nausea and
    almost made him faint.

    Moll (_Untersuchungen ueber die Libido Sexualis_, bd. i, p. 135)
    records the case of a neuropathic man who was constantly rendered
    impotent by his antipathy to personal body odors. It had very
    frequently happened to him to be attracted by the face and
    appearance of a girl, but at the last moment potency was
    inhibited by the perception of personal odor.

    In the case of a man of distinguished ability known to me,
    belonging to a somewhat neuropathic family, there is extreme
    sensitiveness to the smell of a woman, which is frequently the
    most obvious thing to him about her. He has seldom known a woman
    whose natural perfume entirely suits him, and his olfactory
    impressions have frequently been the immediate cause of a rupture
    of relationships.

    It was formerly discussed whether strong personal odor
    constituted adequate ground for divorce. Hagen, who brings
    forward references on this point (_Sexuelle Osphresiologie_, pp.
    75-83), considers that the body odors are normally and naturally
    repulsive because they are closely associated with the capryl
    group of odors, which are those of many of the excretions.

    Olfactory antipathies are, however, often strictly subordinated
    to the individual's general emotional attitude toward the object
    from which they emanate. This is illustrated in the case, known
    to me, of a man who on a hot day entering a steamboat with a
    woman to whom he was attached seated himself between her and a
    man, a stranger. He soon became conscious of an axillary odor
    which he concluded to come from the man and which he felt as
    disagreeable. But a little later he realized that it proceeded
    from his own companion, and with this discovery the odor at once
    lost its disagreeable character.

    In this respect a personal odor resembles a personal touch. Two
    intimate touches of the hand, though of precisely similar
    physical quality, may in their emotional effects be separated by
    an immeasurable interval, in dependence on our attitude toward
    the person from whom they proceed.

Personal odor, in order to make its allurement felt, and not to arouse
antipathy, must, in normal persons, have been preceded by conditions which
have inhibited the play of the antisexual instinct. A certain degree of
tumescence must already have been attained. It is even possible, when we
bear in mind the intimate sympathy between the sexual sphere and the nose,
that the olfactory organ needs to have its sensibility modified in a form
receptive to sexual messages, though such an assumption is by no means
necessary. It is when such a faint preliminary degree of tumescence has
been attained, however it may have been attained,--for the methods of
tumescence, as we know, are innumerable,--that a sympathetic personal odor
is enabled to make its appeal. If we analyze the cases in which olfactory
perceptions have proved potent in love, we shall nearly always find that
they have been experienced under circumstances favorable for the
occurrence of tumescence. When this is not the case we may reasonably
suspect the presence of some degree of perversion.

    In the oft-quoted case of the Austrian peasant who found that he
    was aided in seducing young women by dancing with them and then
    wiping their faces with a handkerchief he had kept in his armpit,
    we may doubtless regard the preliminary excitement of the dance
    as an essential factor in the influence produced.

    In the same way, I am acquainted with the ease of a lady not
    usually sensitive to simple body odors (though affected by
    perfumes and flowers) who on one occasion, when already in a
    state of sexual erethism, was highly excited when perceiving the
    odor of her lover's axilla.

    The same influence of preliminary excitement may be seen in
    another instance known to me, that of a gentlemen who when
    traveling abroad fell in with three charming young ladies during
    a long railway journey. He was conscious of a pleasurable
    excitement caused by the prolonged intimacy of the journey, but
    this only became definitely sexual when the youngest of the
    ladies, stretching before him to look out of the window and
    holding on to the rack above, accidentally brought her axilla
    into close proximity with his face, whereupon erection was
    caused, although he himself regards personal odors, at all events
    when emanating from strangers, as indifferent or repulsive.

    A medical correspondent, referring to the fact that with many men
    (indeed women also) sexual excitement occurs after dancing for a
    considerable time, remarks that he considers the odor of the
    woman's sweat is here a considerable factor.

The characteristics of olfaction which our investigation has so far
revealed have not, on the whole, been favorable to the influence of
personal odors as a sexual attraction in civilized men. It is a primitive
sense which had its flowering time before men arose; it is a comparatively
unaesthetic sense; it is a somewhat obtuse sense which among Europeans is
usually incapable of perceiving the odor of the "human flower"--to use
Goethe's phrase--except on very close contact, and on this account, and on
account of the fact that it is a predominantly emotional sense, personal
odors in ordinary social intercourse are less likely to arouse the sexual
instinct than the antisexual instinct. If a certain degree of tumescence
is required before a personal odor can exert an attractive influence, a
powerful personal odor, strong enough to be perceived before any degree of
tumescence is attained, will tend to cause repulsion, and in so doing
tend, consciously or unconsciously, to excite prejudice against personal
odor altogether. This is actually the case in civilization, and most
people, it would appear, view with more or less antipathy the personal
odors of those persons to whom they are not sexually attracted, while
their attitude is neutral in this respect toward the individuals to whom
they are sexually attracted.[51] The following statement by a
correspondent seems to me to express the experience of the majority of men
in this respect: "I do not notice that different people have different
smells. Certain women I have known have been in the habit of using
particular scents, but no associations could be aroused if I were to smell
the same scent now, for I should not identify it. As a boy I was very fond
of scent, and I associate this with my marked sexual proclivities. I like
a woman to use a little scent. It rouses my sexual feelings, but not to
any large extent. I dislike the smell of a woman's vagina." While the last
statement seems to express the feeling of many if not most men, it may be
proper to add that there seems no natural reason why the vulvar odor of a
clean and healthy woman should be other than agreeable to a normal man who
is her lover.

In literature it is the natural odor of women rather than men which
receives attention. We should expect this to be the case since literature
is chiefly produced by men. The question as to whether men or women are
really more apt to be sexually influenced in this way cannot thus be
decided. Among animals, it seems probable, both sexes are alike influenced
by odors, for, while it is usually the male whose sexual regions are
furnished with special scent glands, when such occur, the peculiar odor of
the female during the sexual season is certainly not less efficacious as
an allurement to the male. If we compare the general susceptibility of men
and women to agreeable odors, apart from the question of sexual
allurement, there can be little doubt that it is most marked among women.
As Groos points out, even among children little girls are more interested
in scents than boys, and the investigations of various workers, especially
Garbini, have shown that there is actually a greater power of
discriminating odors among girls than among boys. Marro has gone further,
and in an extended series of observations on girls before and after the
establishment of puberty--which is of considerable interest from the point
of view of the sexual significance of olfaction--he has shown reason to
believe that girls acquire an increased susceptibility to odors when
sexual life begins, although they show no such increased powers as regards
the other senses.[52] On the whole, it would appear that, while women are
not apt to be seriously affected, in the absence of any preliminary
excitation, by crude body odors, they are by no means insusceptible to the
sexual influence of olfactory impressions. It is probable, indeed, that
they are more affected, and more frequently affected, in this way, than
are men.

    Edouard de Goncourt, in his novel _Cherie_--the intimate history
    of a young girl, founded, he states, on much personal
    observation--describes (Chapter LXXXV) the delight with which
    sensuous, but chaste young girls often take in strong perfumes.
    "Perfume and love," he remarks, "impart delights which are
    closely allied." In an earlier chapter (XLIV) he writes of his
    heroine at the age of 15: "The intimately happy emotion which the
    young girl experienced in reading _Paul et Virginie_ and other
    honestly amorous books she sought to make more complete and
    intense and penetrating by soaking the book with scent, and the
    love-story reached her senses and imagination through pages moist
    with liquid perfume."

    Carbini (_Archivio per l'Antropologia_, 1896, fasc. 3) in a very
    thorough investigation of a large number of children, found that
    the earliest osmo-gustative sensations occurred in the fourth
    week in girls, the fifth week in boys; the first real and
    definite olfactory sensations appeared in the fifteenth month in
    girls, in the sixteenth in boys; while experiments on several
    hundred children between the ages of 3 and 6 years showed the
    girls slightly, but distinctly, superior to the boys. It may, of
    course, be argued that these results merely show a somewhat
    greater precocity of girls. I have summarized the main
    investigations into this question in _Man and Woman_, revised and
    enlarged edition, 1904, pp. 134-138. On the whole, they seem to
    indicate greater olfactory acuteness on the part of women, but
    the evidence is by no means altogether concordant in this sense.
    Popular and general scientific opinion is also by no means always
    in harmony. Thus, Tardif, in his book on odors in relation to the
    sexual instinct, throughout assumes, as a matter of course, that
    the sense of smell is most keen in men; while, on the other hand,
    I note that in a pamphlet by Mr. Martin Perls, a manufacturing
    perfumer, it is stated with equal confidence that "it is a
    well-known fact that ladies have, even without a practice of long
    standing, a keener sense of smell than men," and on this account
    he employs a staff of young ladies for testing perfumes by smell
    in the laboratory by the glazed paper test.

    It is sometimes said that the use of strong perfumes by women
    indicates a dulled olfactory organ. On the other hand, it is said
    that the use of tobacco deadens the sensitiveness of the
    masculine nose. Both these statements seem to be without
    foundation. The use of a large amount of perfume is rather a
    question of taste than a question of sensory acuteness (not to
    mention that those who live in an atmosphere of perfume are, of
    course, only faintly conscious of it), and the chemist perfumer
    in his laboratory surrounded by strong odors can distinguish them
    all with great delicacy. As regards tobacco, in Spain the
    _cigarreras_ are women and girls who live perpetually in an
    atmosphere of tobacco, and Senora Pardo Bazan, who knows them
    well, remarks in her novel, _La Tribuna_, which deals with life
    in a tobacco factory, that "the acuity of the sense of smell of
    the _cigarreras_ is notable, and it would seem that instead of
    blunting the nasal membrane the tobacco makes the olfactory
    nerves keener."

    "It was the same as if I was in a sweet apple garden, from the
    sweetness that came to me when the light wind passed over them
    and stirred their clothes," a woman is represented as saying
    concerning a troop of handsome men in the Irish sagas (_Cuchulain
    of Muirthemne_, p. 161). The pleasure and excitement experienced
    by a woman in the odor of her lover is usually felt concerning a
    vague and mixed odor which may be characteristic, but is not
    definitely traceable to any specific bodily sexual odor. The
    general odor of the man she loves, one woman states, is highly,
    sometimes even overwhelmingly, attractive to her; but the
    specific odor of the male sexual organs which she describes as
    fishy has no attraction. A man writes that in his relations with
    women he has never been able to detect that they were influenced
    by the axillary or other specific odors. A woman writes: "To me
    any personal odor, as that of perspiration, is very disagreeable,
    and the healthy _naked_ human body is very free from any odor.
    Fresh perspiration has no disagreeable smell; it is only by
    retention in the clothing that it becomes objectionable. The
    faint smell of smoke which lingers round men who smoke much is
    rather exciting to me, but only when it is _very_ faint. If at
    all strong it becomes disagreeable. As most of the men who have
    attracted me have been great smokers, there is doubtless a direct
    association of ideas. It has only once occurred to me that an
    indifferent unpleasant smell became attractive in connection with
    some particular person. In this case it was the scent of stale
    tobacco, such as comes from the end of a cold cigar or cigarette.
    It was, and is now, very disagreeable to me, but, for the time
    and in connection with a particular person, it seemed to me more
    delightful and exciting than the most delicious perfume. I think,
    however, only a very strong attraction could overcome a dislike
    of this sort, and I doubt if I could experience such a
    twist-round if it had been a personal odor. Stale tobacco, though
    nasty, conveys no mentally disagreeable idea. I mean it does not
    suggest dirt or unhealthiness."

    It is probably significant of the somewhat considerable part
    which, in one way or another, odors and perfumes play in the
    emotional life of women, that, of the 4 women whose sexual
    histories are recorded in Appendix B of vol. iii of these
    _Studies_, all are liable to experience sexual effects from
    olfactory stimuli, 3 of them from personal odors (though this
    fact is not in every case brought out in the histories as
    recorded), while of the 8 men not one has considered his
    olfactory experiences in this respect as worthy of mention.

    The very marked sexual fascination which odor, associated with
    the men they love, exerts on women has easily passed unperceived,
    since women have not felt called upon to proclaim it. In sexual
    inversion, however, when the woman takes a more active and
    outspoken part than in normal love, it may very clearly be
    traced. Here, indeed, it is often exaggerated, in consequence of
    the common tendency for neurotic and neurasthenic persons to be
    more than normally susceptible to the influence of odors. In the
    majority of inverted women, it may safely be said, the odor of
    the beloved person plays a very considerable part. Thus, one
    inverted woman asks the woman she loves to send her some of her
    hair that she may intoxicate herself in solitude with its perfume
    (_Archivio di Psicopatie Sessuali_, vol. i, fasc. 3, p. 36).
    Again, a young girl with some homosexual tendencies, was apt to
    experience sexual emotions when in ordinary contact with
    schoolfellows whose body odor was marked (Fere, _L'Instinct
    Sexuel_, p. 260). Such examples are fairly typical.

    That the body odor of men may in a large number of cases be
    highly agreeable and sexually attractive is shown by the
    testimony of male sexual inverts. There is abundant evidence to
    this effect. Raffalovich (_L'Uranisme et l'Unisexualite_, p. 126)
    insists on the importance of body odors as a sexual attraction to
    the male invert, and is inclined to think that the increased odor
    of the man's own body during sexual excitement may have an
    auto-aphrodisiacal effect which is reflected on the body of the
    loved person. The odor of peasants, of men who work in the open
    air, is specially apt to be found attractive. Moll mentions the
    case of an inverted man who found the "forest, mosslike odor" of
    a schoolfellow irresistibly attractive.

    The following passage from a letter written by an Italian marquis
    has been sent to me: "Bonifazio stripped one evening, to give me
    pleasure. He has the full, rounded flesh and amber coloring which
    painters of the Giorgione school gave to their S. Sebastians.
    When he began to dress, I took up an old _fascia_, or girdle of
    netted silk, which was lying under his breeches, and which still
    preserved the warmth of his body. I buried my face in it, and was
    half inebriated by its exquisite aroma of young manhood and fresh
    hay. He told me he had worn it for two years. No wonder it was
    redolent of him. I asked him to let me keep it as a souvenir. He
    smiled and said: 'You like it because it has lain so long upon my
    _panoia_.' 'Yes, just so,' I replied; 'whenever I kiss it, thus
    and thus, it will bring you back to me.' Sometimes I tie it round
    my naked waist before I go to bed. The smell of it is enough to
    cause a powerful erection, and the contact of its fringes with my
    testicles and phallus has once or twice produced an involuntary

    I may here reproduce a communication which has reached me
    concerning the attractiveness of the odor of peasants: "One
    predominant attraction of these men is that they are pure and
    clean; their bodies in a state of healthy normal function. Then
    they possess, if they are temperate, what the Greek poet Straton
    called the phydike chrotos (a quality which, according to this
    authority, is never found in women). This 'natural fair perfume
    of the flesh' is a peculiar attribute of young men who live in
    the open air and deal with natural objects. Even their
    perspiration has an odor very different from that of girls in
    ball-rooms: more refined, ethereal, pervasive, delicate, and
    difficult to seize. When they have handled hay--in the time of
    hay-harvest, or in winter, when they bring hay down from mountain
    huts--the youthful peasants carry about with them the smell of 'a
    field the Lord hath blessed.' Their bodies and their clothes
    exhale an indefinable fragrance of purity and sex combined. Every
    gland of the robust frame seems to have accumulated scent from
    herbs and grasses, which slowly exudes from the cool, fresh skin
    of the lad. You do not perceive it in a room. You must take the
    young man's hands and bury your face in them, or be covered with
    him under the same blanket in one bed, to feel this aroma. No
    sensual impression on the nerves of smell is more poignantly
    impregnated with spiritual poetry--the poetry of adolescence, and
    early hours upon the hills, and labor cheerfully accomplished,
    and the harvest of God's gifts to man brought home by human
    industry. It is worth mentioning that Aristophanes, in his
    description of the perfect Athenian Ephebus, dwells upon his
    being redolent of natural perfumes."

    In a passage in the second part of _Faust_ Goethe (who appears to
    have felt considerable interest in the psychology of smell) makes
    three women speak concerning the ambrosiacal odor of young men.

    In this connection, also, I note a passage in a poem ("Appleton
    House") by our own English poet Marvell, which it is of interest
    to  quote:--

        "And now the careless victors play,
        Dancing the triumphs of the hay,
        When every mower's wholesome heat
        Smells like an Alexander's sweat.
        Their females fragrant as the mead
        Which they in fairy circles tread,
        When at their dance's end they kiss,
        Their new-mown hay not sweeter is."


[30] R. Andree, "Voelkergeruch," in _Ethnographische Parallelen_, Neue
Folge, 1889, pp. 213-222, brings together many passages describing the
odors of various peoples. Hagen, _Sexuelle Osphresiologie_, pp. 166 et
seq., has a chapter on the subject; Joest, supplement to _International
Archiv fuer Ethnographie_, 1893, p. 53, has an interesting passage on the
smells of various races, as also Waitz, _Introduction to Anthropology_, p.
103. Cf. Sir H.H. Johnston, _British Central Africa_, p. 395; T.H. Parke,
_Experiences in Equatorial Africa_, p. 409; E.H. Man, _Journal of the
Anthropological Institute_, 1889, p. 391; Brough Smyth, _Aborigines of
Victoria_, vol. i, p. 7; d'Orbigny, _L'Homme Americain_, vol. i, p. 87,

[31] B. Adachi "Geruch der Europaer," _Globus_, 1903, No. 1.

[32] Hagen quotes testimonies on this point, _Sexuelle Osphresiologie_, p.
173. The negro, Castellani states, considers that Europeans have a smell
of death.

[33] _Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition_, vol. ii, p.

[34] Waitz, _Introduction to Anthropology_, p. 103.

[35] Monin, _Les Odeurs du Corps Humain_, second edition, Paris, 1886,
discusses briefly but comprehensively the normal and more especially the
pathological odors of the body and of its secretions and excretions.

[36] Venturi, _Degenerazione Psicho-sessuale_, p. 417.

[37] Quoted by Fere, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, 1902, p. 133.

[38] H. Ling Roth, "On Salutations," _Journal of the Anthropological
Institute_, November, 1889.

[39] See Appendix A: "The Origins of the Kiss."

[40] See, e.g., passage quoted by I. Bloch, _Beitraege zur AEtiologie der
Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil II, p. 205.

[41] It must at the same time be remembered that the more or less degree
of exposure involved by sexual intercourse is itself a cause of nasal
congestion and sneezing.

[42] Fere, _Pathologie des Emotions_, p. 81

[43] J.N. Mackenzie similarly suggests (_Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin_,
No. 82, 1898) that "irritation and congestion of the nasal mucous membrane
precede, or are the excitants of, the olfactory impression that forms the
connecting link between the sense of smell and erethism of the
reproductive organs exhibited in the lower animals."

[44] _Les Odeurs dans les Romans de Zola_, Montpellier, 1889.

[45] Toulouse, _Emile Zola_, pp. 163-165, 173-175.

[46] P.J. Moebius, _Das Pathologische bei Nietzsche_.

[47] Moll has a passage on the sense of smell in the blind, more
especially in sexual respects, _Untersuchungen ueber die Libido Sexualis_,
bd. 1, pp. 137 et seq.

[48] See, for instance, his poem, "Love Perfumes all Parts," in which he
declares that "Hands and thighs and legs are all richly aromatical." And
compare the lyrics entitled "A Song to the Maskers," "On Julia's Breath,"
"Upon Julia's Unlacing Herself," "Upon Julia's Sweat," and "To Mistress
Anne Soame."

[49] There are various indications that Goethe was attentive to the
attraction of personal odors; and that he experienced this attraction
himself is shown by the fact that, as he confessed, when he once had to
leave Weimar on an official journey for two days he took a bodice of Frau
von Stein's away in order to carry the scent of her body with him.

[50] Hagen has brought together from the literature of the subject a
number of typical cases of olfactory fetichism, _Sexuelle Osphresiologie_,
1901, pp. 82 et seq.

[51] Moll's inquiries among normal persons have also shown that few people
are conscious of odor as a sexual attraction. (_Untersuchungen ueber die
Libido Sexualis_. Bd. I, p. 133.)

[52] Marro, _La, Puberta_, 1898, Chapter II. Tardif found in boys that
perfumes exerted little or no influence on circulation and respiration
before puberty, though his observations on this point were too few to
carry weight.


The Influence of Perfumes--Their Aboriginal Relationship to Sexual Body
Odors--This True even of the Fragrance of Flowers--The Synthetic
Manufacture of Perfumes--The Sexual Effects of Perfumes--Perfumes perhaps
Originally Used to Heighten the Body Odors--The Special Significance of
the Musk Odor--Its Wide Natural Diffusion in Plants and Animals and
Man--Musk a Powerful Stimulant--Its Widespread Use as a Perfume--Peau
d'Espagne--The Smell of Leather and its Occasional Sexual Effects--The
Sexual Influence of the Odors of Flowers--The Identity of many Plant Odors
with Certain Normal and Abnormal Body Odors--The Smell of Semen in this

So far we have been mainly concerned with purely personal odors. It is,
however, no longer possible to confine the discussion of the sexual
significance of odor within the purely animal limit. The various
characteristics of personal odor which have been noted--alike those which
tend to make it repulsive and those which tend to make it attractive--have
led to the use of artificial perfumes, to heighten the natural odor when
it is regarded as attractive, to disguise it when it is regarded as
repellent; while at the same time, happily covering both of these
impulses, has developed the pure delight in perfume for its own
agreeableness, the aesthetic side of olfaction. In this way--although in a
much less constant and less elaborate manner--the body became adorned to
the sense of smell just as by clothing and ornament it is adorned to the
sense of sight.

But--and this is a point of great significance from our present
standpoint--we do not really leave the sexual sphere by introducing
artificial perfumes. The perfumes which we extract from natural products,
or, as is now frequently the case, produce by chemical synthesis, are
themselves either actually animal sexual odors or allied in character or
composition, to the personal odors they are used to heighten or disguise.
Musk is the product of glands of the male _Moschus moschiferus_ which
correspond to preputial sebaceous glands; castoreum is the product of
similar sexual glands in the beaver, and civet likewise from the civet;
ambergris is an intestinal calculus found in the rectum of the
cachelot.[53] Not only, however, are nearly all the perfumes of animal
origin, in use by civilized man, odors which have a specially sexual
object among the animals from which they are derived, but even the
perfumes of flowers may be said to be of sexual character. They are given
out at the reproductive period in the lives of plants, and they clearly
have very largely as their object an appeal to the insects who secure
plant fertilization, such appeal having as its basis the fact that among
insects themselves olfactory sensibility has in many cases been developed
in their own mating.[54] There is, for example, a moth in which both sexes
are similarly and inconspicuously marked, but the males diffuse an
agreeable odor, said to be like pineapple, which attracts the females.[55]
If, therefore, the odors of flowers have developed because they proved
useful to the plant by attracting insects or other living creatures, it is
obvious that the advantage would lie with those plants which could put
forth an animal sexual odor of agreeable character, since such an odor
would prove fascinating to animal creatures. We here have a very simple
explanation of the fundamental identity of odors in the animal and
vegetable worlds. It thus comes about that from a psychological point of
view we are not really entering a new field when we begin to discuss the
influence of perfumes other than those of the animal body. We are merely
concerned with somewhat more complex or somewhat more refined sexual
odors; they are not specifically different from the human odors and they
mingle with them harmoniously. Popular language bears witness to the
truth of this statement, and the normal and abnormal human odors, as we
have already seen, are constantly compared to artificial, animal, and
plant odors, to chloroform, to musk, to violet, to mention only those
similitudes which seem to occur most frequently.

    The methods now employed for obtaining the perfumes universally
    used in civilized lands are three: (1) the extraction of
    odoriferous compounds from the neutral products in which they
    occur; (2) the artificial preparation of naturally occurring
    odoriferous compounds by synthetic processes; (3) the manufacture
    of materials which yield odors resembling those of pleasant
    smelling natural objects. (See, e.g., "Natural and Artificial
    Perfumes," _Nature_, December 27, 1900.) The essential principles
    of most of our perfumes belong to the complex class of organic
    compounds known as terpenes. During recent years a number of the
    essential elements of natural perfumes have been studied, in many
    cases the methods of preparing them artificially discovered, and
    they are largely replacing the use of natural perfumes not only
    for soaps, etc., but for scent essences, though it appears to be
    very difficult to imitate exactly the delicate fragrance achieved
    by Nature. Artificial musk was discovered accidentally by Bauer
    when studying the butyltoluenes contained in a resin extractive.
    Vanillin, the odoriferous principle of the vanilla bean, is an
    aldehyde which was first artificially prepared by Tiemann and
    Haarmann in 1874 by oxidizing coniferin, a glucoside contained in
    the sap of various coniferae, but it now appears to be usually
    manufactured from eugenol, a phenol contained in oil of cloves.
    Piperonal, an aldehyde closely allied to vanillin, is used in
    perfumery under the name of heliotropin and is prepared from oil
    of sassafras and oil of camphor. Cumarine, the material to which
    tonka bean, sweet woodruff, and new-mown hay owe their
    characteristic odors, was synthetically prepared by W.H. Parkin
    in 1868 by heating sodiosalicylic aldehyde with acetic anhydride,
    though now more cheaply prepared from an herb growing in Florida.
    Irone, which has the perfume of violets, was isolated in 1893
    from a ketone contained in orris-root; and ionone, another ketone
    which has a very closely similar odor of fresh violets and was
    isolated after some years' further work, is largely used in the
    preparation of violet perfume. Irone and ionone are closely
    similar in composition to oil of turpentine which when taken into
    the body is partly converted into perfume and gives a strong odor
    of violets to the urine. "Little has yet been accomplished toward
    ascertaining the relation between the odor and the chemical
    constitution of substances in general. Hydrocarbons as a class
    possess considerable similarity in odor, so also do the organic
    sulphides and, to a much smaller extent, the ketones. The
    subject waits for some one to correlate its various
    physiological, psychological and physical aspects in the same way
    that Helmholtz did for sound. It seems, as yet, impossible to
    assign any probable reason to the fact that many substances have
    a pleasant odor. It may, however, be worth suggesting that
    certain compounds, such as the volatile sulphides and the
    indoles, have very unpleasant odors because they are normal
    constituents of mammalian excreta and of putrefied animal
    products; the repulsive odors may be simply necessary results of
    evolutionary processes." (_Loc. cit._, _Nature_, December 27,

    Many of the perfumes in use are really combinations of a great
    many different odors in varying proportions, such as oil of rose,
    lavender oil, ylang-ylang, etc. The most highly appreciated
    perfumes are often made up of elements which in stronger
    proportion would be regarded as highly unpleasant.

    In the study and manufacture of perfumes Germany and France have
    taken the lead in recent times. The industry is one of great
    importance. In France alone the trade in perfumes amounts to

It is doubtless largely owing to the essential and fundamental identity of
odors--to the chemical resemblances even of odors from the most widely
remote sources--that we find that perfumes in many cases have the same
sexual effects as are primitively possessed by the body odors. In northern
countries, where the use of perfumes is chiefly cultivated by women, it is
by women that this sexual influence is most liable to be felt. In the
South and in the East it appears to be at least equally often experienced
by men. Thus, in Italy Mantegazza remarks that "many men of strong sexual
temperament cannot visit with impunity a laboratory of essences and
perfumes."[56] In the East we find it stated in the Islamic book entitled
_The Perfumed Garden of Sheik Nefzaoui_ that the use of perfumes by women,
as well as by men, excites to the generative act. It is largely in
reliance on this fact that in many parts of the world, especially among
Eastern peoples and occasionally among ourselves in Europe, women have
been accustomed to perfume the body and especially the vulva.[57]

It seems highly probable that, as has been especially emphasized by Hagen,
perfumes were primitively used by women, not as is sometimes the case in
civilization, with the idea of disguising any possible natural odor, but
with the object of heightening and fortifying the natural odor.[58] If the
primitive man was inclined to disparage a woman whose odor was slight or
imperceptible,--turning away from her with contempt, as the Polynesian
turned away from the ladies of Sydney: "They have no smell!"--women would
inevitably seek to supplement any natural defects in this respect, and to
accentuate their odorous qualities, in the same way as by corsets and
bustles, even in civilization, they have sought to accentuate the sexual
saliencies of their bodies. In this way we may, as Hagen suggests, explain
the fact that until recent times the odors preferred by women have not
been the most delicate or exquisite, but the strongest, the most animal,
the most sexual: musk, castoreum, civet, and ambergris.

    In that interesting novel--dealing with the adventures of a
    Jewish maiden at the Persian court of Xerxes--which under the
    title of _Esther_ has found its way into the Old Testament we are
    told that it was customary in the royal harem at Shushan to
    submit the women to a very prolonged course of perfuming before
    they were admitted to the king: "six months with oil of myrrh and
    six months with sweet odors." (_Esther_, Chapter II, v. 12.)

    In the _Arabian Nights_ there are many allusions to the use of
    perfumes by women with a more or less definitely stated
    aphrodisiacal intent. Thus we read in the story of Kamaralzaman:
    "With fine incense I will perfume my breasts, my belly, my whole
    body, so that my skin may melt more sweetly in thy mouth, O apple
    of my eye!"

    Even among savages the perfuming of the body is sometimes
    practiced with the object of inducing love in the partner.
    Schellong states that the Papuans of Kaiser Wilhelm's Land rub
    various fragrant plants into their bodies for this purpose.
    (_Zeitschrift fuer Ethnologie_, 1899, ht. i, p. 19.) The
    significance of this practice is more fully revealed by Haddon
    when studying the Papuans of Torres Straits among whom the
    initiative in courtship is taken by the women. It was by scenting
    himself with a pungent odorous substance that a young man
    indicated that he was ready to be sued by the girls. A man would
    wear this scent at the back of his neck during a dance in order
    to attract the attention of a particular girl; it was believed to
    act with magical certainty, after the manner of a charm (_Reports
    of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits_,
    vol. v, pp. 211, 222, and 328).

The perfume which is of all perfumes the most interesting from the present
point of view is certainly musk. With ambergris, musk is the chief member
of Linnaeus's group of _Odores ambrosiacae_, a group which in sexual
significances, as Zwaardemaker remarks, ranks besides the capryl group of
odors. It is a perfume of ancient origin; its name is Persian[59]
(indicating doubtless the channel whence it reached Europe) and ultimately
derived from the Sanskrit word for testicle in allusion to the fact that
it was contained in a pouch removed from the sexual parts of the male
musk-deer. Musk odors, however, often of considerable strength, are very
widely distributed in Nature, alike among animals and plants. This is
indicated by the frequency with which the word "musk" forms part of the
names of animals and plants which are by no means always nearly related.
We have the musk-ox, the musky mole, several species called musk-rat, the
musk-duct, the musk-beetle; while among plants which have received their
names from a real or supposed musky odor are, besides several that are
called musk-plant, the musk-rose, the musk-hyacinth, the musk-mallow, the
musk-orchid, the musk-melon, the musk-cherry, the musk-pear, the
musk-plum, muskat and muscatels, musk-seed, musk-tree, musk-wood, etc.[60]
But a musky odor is not merely widespread in Nature among plants and the
lower animals, it is peculiarly associated with man. Incidentally we have
already seen how it is regarded as characteristic of some races of man,
especially the Chinese. Moreover, the smell of the negress is said to be
musky in character, and among Europeans a musky odor is said to be
characteristic of blondes. Laycock, in his _Nervous Diseases of Women_,
stated his opinion that "the musk odor is certainly the sexual odor of
man"; and Fere states that the musk odor is that among natural perfumes
most nearly approaching the odor of the sexual secretions. We have seen
that the Chinese poet vaunts the musky odor of his mistress's armpits,
while another Oriental saying concerning the attractive woman is that "her
navel is filled with musk." Persian literature contains many references to
musk as an attractive body odor, and Firdusi speaks of a woman's hair as
"a crown of musk," while the Arabian poet Motannabi says of his mistress
that "her hyacinthine hair smells sweeter than Scythian musk." Galopin
stated that he knew women whose natural odor of musk (and less frequently
of ambergris) was sufficiently strong to impart to a bath in less than an
hour a perfume due entirely to the exhalations of the musky body; it must
be added that Galopin was an enthusiast in this matter.

The special significance of musk from our present point of view lies not
only in the fact that we here have a perfume, widely scattered throughout
nature and often in an agreeable form, which is at the same time a very
frequent personal odor in man. Musk is the odor which not only in the
animals to which it has given a name, but in many others, is a
specifically sexual odor, chiefly emitted during the sexual season. The
sexual odors, indeed, of most animals seem to be modifications of musk.
The Sphinx moth has a musky odor which is confined to the male and is
doubtless sexual. Some lizards have a musky odor which is heightened at
the sexual season; crocodiles during the pairing season emit from their
submaxillary glands a musky odor which pervades their haunts. In the same
way elephants emit a musky odor from their facial glands during the
rutting season. The odor of the musk-duck is chiefly confined to the
breeding season.[61] The musky odor of the negress is said to be
heightened during sexual excitement.

The predominance of musk as a sexual odor is associated with the fact that
its actual nervous influence, apart from the presence of sexual
association, is very considerable. Fere found it to be a powerful muscular
stimulant. In former times musk enjoyed a high reputation as a cardiac
stimulant; it fell into disuse, but in recent years its use in asthenic
states has been revived, and excellent results, it has been claimed, have
followed its administration in cases of collapse from Asiatic cholera. For
sexual torpor in women it still has (like vanilla and sandal) a certain
degree of reputation, though it is not often used, and some of the old
Arabian physicians (especially Avicenna) recommended it, with castoreum
and myrrh, for amenorrhoea. Its powerful action is indicated by the
experience of Esquirol, who stated that he had seen cases in which sensory
stimulation by musk in women during lactation had produced mania. It has
always had the reputation, more especially in the Mohammedan East, of
being a sexual stimulant to men; "the noblest of perfumes," it is called
in _El Ktab_, "and that which most provokes to venery."

It is doubtless a fact significant of the special sexual effects of musk
that, as Laycock remarked, in cases of special idiosyncrasy to odors, musk
appears to be that odor which is most liked or disliked. Thus, the old
English physician Whytt remarked that "several delicate women who could
easily bear the stronger smell of tobacco have been thrown into fits by
musk, ambergris, or a pale rose."[62] It may be remarked that in the
_Perfumed Garden of Sheik Nefzaoui_ it is stated that it is by their
sexual effects that perfumes tend to throw women into a kind of swoon, and
Lucretius remarks that a woman who smells castoreum, another animal sexual
perfume, at the time of her menstrual period may swoon.[63]

Not only is musk the most cherished perfume of the Islamic world, and the
special favorite of the Prophet himself, who greatly delighted in perfumes
("I love your world," he is reported to have said in old age, "for its
women and its perfumes"),[64] it is the only perfume generally used by the
women of a land in which the refinements of life have been carried so far
as Japan, and they received it from the Chinese.[65]

Moreover, musk is still the most popular of European perfumes. It is the
perfumes containing musk, Piesse states in his well-known book on the _Art
of Perfumery_, which sell best. It is certainly true that in its simple
form the odor of musk is not nowadays highly considered in Europe. This
fact is connected with the ever-growing refinement in accordance with
which the specific odors of the sexual regions in human beings tend to
lose their primitive attractiveness and bodily odors generally become
mingled with artificial perfumes and so disguised. But, although musk in
its simple form, and under its ancient name, has lost its hold in Europe,
it is an interesting and significant fact that it is still the perfumes
which contain musk that are the most widely popular.

Peau d'Espagne may be mentioned as a highly complex and luxurious perfume,
often the favorite scent of sensuous persons, which really owes a large
part of its potency to the presence of the crude animal sexual odors of
musk and civet. It consists of wash-leather steeped in ottos of neroli,
rose, santal, lavender, verbena, bergamot, cloves, and cinnamon,
subsequently smeared with civet and musk. It is said by some, probably
with a certain degree of truth, that Peau d'Espagne is of all perfumes
that which most nearly approaches the odor of a woman's skin; whether it
also suggests the odor of leather is not so clear.

There is, however, no doubt that the smell of leather has a curiously
stimulating sexual influence on many men and women. It is an odor which
seems to occupy an intermediate place between the natural body odors and
the artificial perfumes for which it sometimes serves as a basis; possibly
it is to this fact that its occasional sexual influence is owing, for, as
we have already seen, there is a tendency for sexual allurement to attach
to odors which are not the specific personal body odors but yet are
related to them. Moll considers, no doubt rightly, that shoe fetichism,
perhaps the most frequent of sexual fetichistic perversions, is greatly
favored, if, indeed, it does not owe its origin to, the associated odor of
the feet and of the shoes.[66] He narrates a case of shoe fetichism in a
man in which the perversion began at the age of 6; when for the first time
he wore new shoes, having previously used only the left-off shoes of his
elder brother; he felt and smelt these new shoes with sensations of
unmeasured pleasure; and a few years later began to use shoes as a method
of masturbation.[67] Naecke has also recorded the case of a shoe fetichist
who declared that the sexual attraction of shoes (usually his wife's) lay
largely in the odor of the leather.[68] Krafft-Ebing, again, brings
forward a case of shoe fetichism in which the significant fact is
mentioned that the subject bought a pair of leather cuffs to smell while
masturbating.[69] Restif de la Bretonne, who was somewhat of a shoe
fetichist, appears to have enjoyed smelling shoes. It is not probable that
the odor of leather explains the whole of shoe fetichism,--as we shall see
when, in another "Study," this question comes before us--and in many cases
it cannot be said to enter at all; it is, however, one of the factors.
Such a conclusion is further supported by the fact that by many the odor
of new shoes is sometimes desired as an adjuvant to coitus. It is in the
experience of prostitutes that such a device is not infrequent. Naecke
mentions that a colleague of his was informed by a prostitute that several
of her clients desired the odor of new shoes in the room, and that she was
accustomed to obtain the desired perfume by holding her shoes for a moment
over the flame of a spirit lamp.

The direct sexual influence of the odor of leather is, however, more
conclusively proved by those instances in which it exists apart from shoes
or other objects having any connection with the human body. I have
elsewhere in these "Studies"[71] recorded the case of a lady, entirely
normal in sexual and other respects, who is conscious of a considerable
degree of pleasurable sexual excitement in the presence of the smell of
leather objects, more especially of leather-bound ledgers and in shops
where leather objects are sold. She thinks this dates from the period
when, as a child of 9, she was sometimes left alone for a time on a high
stool in an office. A possible explanation in this case lies in the
supposition that on one of these early occasions sexual excitement was
produced by the contact with the stool (in a way that is not infrequent in
young girls) and that the accidentally associated odor of leather
permanently affected the nervous system, while the really significant
contact left no permanent impression. Even on such a supposition it might,
however, still be maintained that a real potency of the leather odor is
illustrated by this case, and this is likewise suggested by the fact that
the same subject is also sexually affected by various perfumes and odorous
flowers not recalling leather.[70]

It has been suggested to me by a lady that the odor of leather suggests
that of the sexual organs. The same suggestion is made by Hagen,[72] and I
find it stated by Gould and Pyle that menstruating girls sometimes smell
of leather. The secret of its influence may thus be not altogether
obscure; in the fact that leather is animal skin, and that it may thus
vaguely stir the olfactory sensibilities which had been ancestrally
affected by the sexual stimulus of the skin odor lies the probable
foundation of the mystery.

In the absence of all suggestion of personal or animal odors, in its most
exquisite forms in the fragrance of flowers, olfactory sensations are
still very frequently of a voluptuous character. Mantegazza has remarked
that it is a proof of the close connection between the sense of smell and
the sexual organs that the expression of pleasure produced by olfaction
resembles the expression of sexual pleasures.[73] Make the chastest woman
smell the flowers she likes best, he remarks, and she will close her eyes,
breathe deeply, and, if very sensitive, tremble all over, presenting an
intimate picture which otherwise she never shows, except perhaps to her
lover. He mentions a lady who said: "I sometimes feel such pleasure in
smelling flowers that I seem to be committing a sin."[74] It is really the
case that in many persons--usually, if not exclusively, women--the odor of
flowers produces not only a highly pleasurable, but a distinctly and
specifically sexual, effect. I have met with numerous cases in which this
effect was well marked. It is usually white flowers with heavy,
penetrating odors which exert this influence. Thus, one lady (who is
similarly affected by various perfumes, forget-me-nots, ylang-ylang,
etc.) finds that a number of flowers produce on her a definite sexual
effect, with moistening of the pudenda. This effect is especially produced
by white flowers like the gardenia, tuberose, etc. Another lady, who lives
in India, has a similar experience with flowers. She writes: A scent to
cause me sexual excitement must be somewhat heavy and _penetrating_.
Nearly all white flowers so affect me and many Indian flowers with heavy,
almost pungent scents. (All the flower scents are quite unconnected with
me with any individual.) Tuberose, lilies of the valley, and frangipani
flowers have an almost intoxicating effect on me. Violets, roses,
mignonette, and many others, though very delicious, give me no sexual
feeling at all. For this reason the line, 'The lilies and languors of
virtue for the roses and raptures of vice' seems all wrong to me. The lily
seems to me a very sensual flower, while the rose and its scent seem very
good and countrified and virtuous. Shelley's description of the lily of
the valley, 'whom youth makes so fair and _passion_ so pale,' falls in
much more with my ideas. "I can quite understand," she adds, "that
leather, especially of books, might have an exciting effect, as the smell
has this _penetrating_ quality, but I do not think it produces any special
feeling in me." This more sensuous character of white flowers is fairly
obvious to many persons who do not experience from them any specifically
sexual effects. To some people lilies have an odor which they describe as
sexual, although these persons may be quite unaware that Hindu authors
long since described the vulvar secretion of the _Padmini_, or perfect
woman, during coitus, as "perfumed like the lily that has newly
burst."[75] It is noteworthy that it was more especially the white
flowers--lily, tuberose, etc.--which were long ago noted by Cloquet as
liable to cause various unpleasant nervous effects, cardiac oppression and

When we are concerned with the fragrances of flowers it would seem that we
are far removed from the human sexual field, and that their sexual effects
are inexplicable. It is not so. The animal and vegetable odors, as,
indeed, we have already seen, are very closely connected. The recorded
cases are very numerous in which human persons have exhaled from their
skins--sometimes in a very pronounced degree--the odors of plants and
flowers, of violets, of roses, of pineapple, of vanilla. On the other
hand, there are various plant odors which distinctly recall, not merely
the general odor of the human body, but even the specifically sexual
odors. A rare garden weed, the stinking goosefoot, _Chenopodium vulvaria_,
it is well known, possesses a herring brine or putrid fish odor--due, it
appears, to propylamin, which is also found in the flowers of the common
white thorn or mayflower (_Crataegus oxyacantha_) and many others of the
_Rosaceae_--which recalls the odor of the animal and human sexual
regions.[77] The reason is that both plant and animal odors belong
chemically to the same group of capryl odors (Linnaeus's _Odores hircini_),
so called from the goat, the most important group of odors from the sexual
point of view. Caproic and capryl acid are contained not only in the odor
of the goat and in human sweat, and in animal products as many cheeses,
but also in various plants, such as Herb Robert (_Geranium robertianum_),
and the Stinking St. John's worts (_Hypericum hircinum_), as well as the
_Chenopodium_. Zwaardemaker considers it probable that the odor of the
vagina belongs to the same group, as well as the odor of semen (which
Haller called _odor aphrodisiacus_), which last odor is also found, as
Cloquet pointed out, in the flowers of the common berberry (_Berberis
vulgaris_) and in the chestnut. A very remarkable and significant example
of the same odor seems to occur in the case of the flowers of the henna
plant, the white-flowered Lawsonia (_Lawsonia inermis_), so widely used in
some Mohammedan lands for dyeing the nails and other parts of the body.
"These flowers diffuse the sweetest odor," wrote Sonnini in Egypt a
century ago; "the women delight to wear them, to adorn their houses with
them, to carry them to the baths, to hold them in their hands, and to
perfume their bosoms with them. They cannot patiently endure that
Christian and Jewish women shall share the privilege with them. It is very
remarkable that the perfume of the henna flowers, when closely inhaled, is
almost entirely lost in a very decided spermatic odor. If the flowers are
crushed between the fingers this odor prevails, and is, indeed, the only
one perceptible. It is not surprising that so delicious a flower has
furnished Oriental poetry with many charming traits and amorous similes."
Such a simile Sonnini finds in the _Song of Songs_, i. 13-14.[78]

The odor of semen has not been investigated, but, according to
Zwaardemaker, artificially produced odors (like cadaverin) resemble it.
The odor of the leguminous fenugreek, a botanical friend considers,
closely approaches the odor given off in some cases by the armpit in
women. It is noteworthy that fenugreek contains cumarine, which imparts
its fragrance to new-mown hay and to various flowers of somewhat similar
odor. On some persons these have a sexually exciting effect, and it is of
considerable interest to observe that they recall to many the odor of
semen. "It seems very natural," a lady writes, "that flowers, etc., should
have an exciting effect, as the original and by far the pleasantest way of
love-making was in the open among flowers and fields; but a more purely
physical reason may, I think, be found in the exact resemblance between
the scent of semen and that of the pollen of flowering grasses. The first
time I became aware of this resemblance it came on me with a rush that
here was the explanation of the very exciting effect of a field of
flowering grasses and, perhaps through them, of the scents of other
flowers. If I am right, I suppose flower scents should affect women more
powerfully than men in a sexual way. I do not think anyone would be likely
to notice the odor of semen in this connection unless they had been
greatly struck by the exciting effects of the pollen of grasses. I had
often noticed it and puzzled over it." As pollen is the male sexual
element of flowers, its occasionally stimulating effect in this direction
is perhaps but an accidental result of a unity running through the organic
world, though it may be perhaps more simply explained as a special form of
that nasal irritation which is felt by so many persons in a hay-field.
Another correspondent, this time a man, tells me that he has noted the
resemblance of the odor of semen to that of crushed grasses. A scientific
friend who has done much work in the field of organic chemistry tells me
he associates the odor of semen with that produced by diastasic action on
mixing flour and water, which he regards as sexual in character. This
again brings us to the starchy products of the leguminous plants. It is
evident that, subtle and obscure as many questions in the physiology and
psychology of olfaction still remain, we cannot easily escape from their
sexual associations.


[53] H. Beauregard, _Matiere Medicale Zooelogique: Histoire des Drogues
d'origine Animate_, 1901.

[54] Professor Plateau, of Ghent, has for many years carried on a series
of experiments which would even tend to show that insects are scarcely
attracted by the colors of flowers at all, but mainly influenced by a
sense which would appear to be smell. His experiments have been recorded
during recent years (from 1887) in the _Bulletins de l'Academie Royale de
Belgique_, and have from time to time been summarized in _Nature_, e.g.,
February 5, 1903.

[55] David Sharp, _Cambridge Natural History: Insects_, Part II, p. 398.

[56] Mantegazza, _Fisiologia dell' Amore_, 1873, p. 176.

[57] Mantegazza (_L'Amour dans l'Humanite_, p. 94) refers to various
peoples who practice this last custom. Egypt was a great centre of the
practice more than 3000 years ago.

[58] Hagen, _Sexuelle Osphresiologie_, 1901, p. 226. It has been suggested
to me by a medical correspondent that one of the primitive objects of the
hair, alike on head, mons veneris, and axilla, was to collect sweat and
heighten its odor to sexual ends.

[59] The names of all our chief perfumes are Arabic or Persian: civet,
musk, ambergris, attar, camphor, etc.

[60] Cloquet (_Osphresiologie_, pp. 73-76) has an interesting passage on
the prevalence of the musk odor in animals, plants, and even mineral

[61] Laycock brings together various instances of the sexual odors of
animals, insisting on their musky character (_Nervous Diseases of Women_;
section, "Odors"). See also a section in the _Descent of Man_ (Part II,
Chapter XVIII), in which Darwin argues that "the most odoriferous males
are the most successful in winning the females." Distant also has an
interesting paper on this subject, "Biological Suggestions," _Zooelogist_,
May, 1902; he points out the significant fact that musky odors are usually
confined to the male, and argues that animal odors generally are more
often attractive than protective.

[62] R. Whytt, _Works_, 1768, p. 543.

[63] Lucretius, VI, 790-5.

[64] Mohammed, said Ayesha, was very fond of perfumes, especially "men's
scents," musk and ambergris. He used also to burn camphor on odoriferous
wood and enjoy the fragrant smell, while he never refused perfumes when
offered them as a present. The things he cared for most, said Ayesha, were
women, scents, and foods. Muir, _Life of Mahomet_, vol. iii, p. 297.

[65] H. ten Kate, _International Centralblatt fuer Anthropologie_, Ht. 6,
1902. This author, who made observations on Japanese with Zwaardemaker's
olfactometer, found that, contrary to an opinion sometimes stated, they
have a somewhat defective sense of smell. He remarks that there are no
really native Japanese perfumes.

[66] Moll: _Die Kontraere Sexualempfindung_, third edition, 1890, p. 306.

[67] Moll: _Libido Sexualis_, bd. 1, p. 284.

[68] P. Naecke, "Un Cas de Fetichisme de Souliers," _Bulletin de la Societe
de Medecine Mentale de Belgique_, 1894.

[69] _Psychopathia Sexualis_, English edition, p. 167.

[70] Philip Salmuth (_Observationes Medicae_, Centuria II, no. 63) in the
seventeenth century recorded a case in which a young girl of noble birth
(whose sister was fond of eating chalk, cinnamon, and cloves) experienced
extreme pleasure in smelling old books. It would appear, however, that in
this case the fascination lay not so much in the odor of the leather as in
the mouldy odor of worm-eaten books; "_faetore veterum liborum, a blattis
et tineis exesorum, situque prorsus corruptorum_" are Salmuth's words.

[71] _Studies in the Psychology of Sex_, vol. iii, "Appendix B, History

[72] _Sexuelle Osphresiologie_, p. 106.

[73] Mantegazza, _Fisiologia dell' Amore_, p. 176.

[74] In this connection I may quote the remark of the writer of a
thoughtful article in the _Journal of Psychological Medicine_, 1851: "The
use of scents, especially those allied to the musky, is one of the
luxuries of women, and in some constitutions cannot be indulged without
some danger to the morals, by the excitement to the ovaria which results.
And although less potent as aphrodisiacs in their action on the sexual
system of women than of men, we have reason to think that they cannot be
used to excess with impunity by most."

[75] _Kama Sutra_ of Vatsyayana, 1883, p. 5.

[76] Cloquet, _Osphresiologie_, p. 95.

[77] In Normandy the _Chenopodium_, it is said, is called "conio," and in
Italy erba connina (con, cunnus), on account of its vulvar odor. The
attraction of dogs to this plant has been noted. In the same way cats are
irresistibly attracted to preparations of valerian because their own urine
contains valerianic acid.

[78] Sonnini, _Voyage dans la Haute et Basse Egypte_, 1799, vol. i. p.


The Evil Effects of Excessive Olfactory Stimulation--The Symptoms of
Vanillism--The Occasional Dangerous Results of the Odors of
Flowers--Effects of Flowers on the Voice.

The reality of the olfactory influences with which we have been concerned,
however slight they may sometimes appear, is shown by the fact that odors,
both agreeable and disagreeable, are stimulants, obeying the laws which
hold good for stimulants generally. They whip up the nervous energies
momentarily, but in the end, if the excitation is excessive and prolonged,
they produce fatigue and exhaustion. This is clearly shown by Fere's
elaborate experiments on the influences of odors, as compared with other
sensory stimulants, on the amount of muscular work performed with the
ergograph.[79] Commenting on the remark of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, that
"man uses perfumes to impart energy to his passion," Fere remarks: "But
perfumes cannot keep up the fires which they light." Their prolonged use
involves fatigue, which is not different from that produced by excessive
work, and reproduces all the bodily and psychic accompaniments of
excessive work.[80] It is well known that workers in perfumes are apt to
suffer from the inhalation of the odors amid which they live. Dealers in
musk are said to be specially liable to precocious dementia. The symptoms
generally experienced by the men and women who work in vanilla factories
where the crude fruit is prepared for commerce have often been studied and
are well known. They are due to the inhalation of the scent, which has all
the properties of the aromatic aldehydes, and include skin eruptions,[81]
general excitement, sleeplessness, headache, excessive menstruation, and
irritable bladder. There is nearly always sexual excitement, which may be
very pronounced.[82]

We are here in the presence, it may be insisted, not of a nervous
influence only, but of a direct effect of odor on the vital processes. The
experiments of Tardif on the influence of perfumes on frogs and rabbits
showed that a poisonous effect was exerted;[83] while Fere, by incubating
fowls' eggs in the presence of musk, found repeatedly that many
abnormalities occurred, and that development was retarded even in the
embryos that remained normal; while he obtained somewhat similar results
by using essences of lavender, cloves, etc.[84] The influence of odors is
thus deeper than is indicated by their nervous effects; they act directly
on nutrition. We are led, as Passy remarks, to regard odors as very
intimately related to the physiological properties of organic substances,
and the sense of smell as a detached fragment of generally sensibility,
reacting to the same stimuli as general sensibility, but highly
specialized in view of its protective function.

    The reality and subtlety of the influence of odors is further
    shown, by the cases in which very intense effects are produced
    even by the temporary inhalation of flowers or perfumes or other
    odors. Such cases of idiosyncrasy in which a person--frequently
    of somewhat neurotic temperament--becomes acutely sensitive to
    some odor or odors have been recorded in medical literature for
    many centuries. In these cases the obnoxious odor produces
    congestion of the respiratory passages, sneezing, headache,
    fainting, etc., but occasionally, it has been recorded, even
    death. (Dr. J.N. Mackenzie, in his interesting and learned paper
    on "The Production of the so-called 'Rose Cold,' etc.," _American
    Journal of Medical Sciences_, January, 1886, quotes many cases,
    and gives a number of references to ancient medical authors; see
    also Layet, art. "Odeur," _Dictionnaire Encyclopedique des
    Sciences Medicales_.)

    An interesting phenomenon of the group--though it is almost too
    common to be described as an idiosyncrasy--is the tendency of the
    odor of certain flowers to affect the voice and sometimes even to
    produce complete loss of voice. The mechanism of the process is
    not fully understood, but it would appear that congestion and
    paresis of the larynx is produced and spasm of the bronchial
    tube. Botallus in 1565 recorded cases in which the scent of
    flowers brought on difficulty of breathing, and the danger of
    flowers from this point of view is well recognized by
    professional singers. Joal has studied this question in an
    elaborate paper (summarized in the _British Medical Journal_,
    March 3, 1895), and Dr. Cabanes has brought together (_Figaro_,
    January 20, 1894) the experiences of a number of well-known
    singers, teachers of singing, and laryngologists. Thus, Madame
    Renee Richard, of the Paris Opera, has frequently found that when
    her pupils have arrived with a bunch of violets fastened to the
    bodice or even with a violet and iris sachet beneath the corset,
    the voice has been marked by weakness and, on using the
    laryngoscope, she has found the vocal cords congested. Madame
    Calve confirmed this opinion, and stated that she was specially
    sensitive to tuberose and mimosa, and that on one occasion a
    bouquet of white lilac has caused her, for a time, complete loss
    of voice. The flowers mentioned are equally dangerous to a number
    of other singers; the most injurious flower of all is found to be
    the violet. The rose is seldom mentioned, and artificial perfumes
    are comparatively harmless, though some singers consider it
    desirable to be cautious in using them.


[79] Fere, _Travail et Plaisir_, Chapter XIII.

[80] _Travail et Plaisir_, p. 175. It is doubtless true of the effects of
odors on the sexual sphere. Fere records the case of a neurasthenic lady
whose sexual coldness toward her husband only disappeared after the
abandonment of a perfume (in which heliotrope was apparently the chief
constituent) she had been accustomed to use in excessive amounts.

[81] It is perhaps significant that many colors are especially liable to
produce skin disorders, especially urticaria; a number of cases have been
recorded by Joal, _Journal de Medecine_, July 10, 1899.

[82] Layet, art. "Vanillisme," _Dictionnaire Encyclopedique des Sciences
Medicales_; cf. Audeoud, _Revue Medicale de la Suisse Romande_, October
20, 1899, summarized in the _British Medical Journal_, 1899.

[83] E. Tardif, _Les Odeurs et Parfums_, Chapter III.

[84] Fere, _Societe de Biologie_, March 28, 1896.


The Place of Smell in Human Sexual Selections--It has given Place to the
Predominance of Vision largely because in Civilized Man it Fails to Act at
a Distance--It still Plays a Part by Contributing to the Sympathies or the
Antipathies of Intimate Contact.

When we survey comprehensively the extensive field we have here rapidly
traversed, it seems not impossible to gain a fairly accurate view of the
special place which olfactory sensations play in human sexual selection.
The special peculiarity of this group of sensations in man, and that which
gives them an importance they would not otherwise possess, is due to the
fact that we here witness the decadence of a sense which in man's remote
ancestors was the very chiefest avenue of sexual allurement. In man, even
the most primitive man,--to some degree even in the apes,--it has declined
in importance to give place to the predominance of vision.[85] Yet, at
that lower threshold of acuity at which it persists in man it still bathes
us in a more or less constant atmosphere of odors, which perpetually move
us to sympathy or to antipathy, and which in their finer manifestations we
do not neglect, but even cultivate with the increase of our civilization.

It thus comes about that the grosser manifestations of sexual allurement
by smell belong, so far as man is concerned, to a remote animal past which
we have outgrown and which, on account of the diminished acuity of our
olfactory organs, we could not completely recall even if we desired to;
the sense of sight inevitably comes into play long before it is possible
for close contact to bring into action the sense of smell. But the latent
possibilities of sexual allurement by olfaction, which are inevitably
embodied in the nervous structure we have inherited from our animal
ancestors, still remain ready to be called into play. They emerge
prominently from time to time in exceptional and abnormal persons. They
tend to play an unusually larger part in the psychic lives of neurasthenic
persons, with their sensitive and comparatively unbalanced nervous
systems, and this is doubtless the reason why poets and men of letters
have insisted on olfactory impressions so frequently and to so notable a
degree; for the same reason sexual inverts are peculiarly susceptible to
odors. For a different reason, warmer climates, which heighten all odors
and also favor the growth of powerfully odorous plants, lead to a
heightened susceptibility to the sexual and other attractions of smell
even among normal persons; thus we find a general tendency to delight in
odors throughout the East, notably in India, among the ancient Hebrews,
and in Mohammedan lands.

Among the ordinary civilized population in Europe the sexual influences of
smell play a smaller and yet not altogether negligible part. The
diminished prominence of odors only enables them to come into action, as
sexual influences, on close contact, when, in some persons at all events,
personal odors may have a distinct influence in heightening sympathy or
arousing antipathy. The range of variation among individuals is in this
matter considerable. In a few persons olfactory sympathy or antipathy is
so pronounced that it exerts a decisive influence in their sexual
relationships; such persons are of olfactory type. In other persons smell
has no part in constituting sexual relationships, but it comes into play
in the intimate association of love, and acts as an additional excitant;
when reinforced by association such olfactory impressions may at times
prove irresistible. Other persons, again, are neutral in this respect, and
remain indifferent either to the sympathetic or antipathetic working of
personal odors, unless they happen to be extremely marked. It is probable
that the majority of refined and educated people belong to the middle
group of those persons who are not of predominantly olfactory type, but
are liable from time to time to be influenced in this manner. Women are
probably at least as often affected in this manner as men, probably more

On the whole, it may be said that in the usual life of man odors play a
not inconsiderable part and raise problems which are not without interest,
but that their demonstrable part in actual sexual selection--whether in
preferential mating or in assortative mating--is comparatively small.


[85] Moll has a passage on this subject, _Untersuchungen ueber die Libido
Sexualis_. Bd. I, pp. 376-381.



The Physiological Basis of Rhythm--Rhythm as a Physiological Stimulus--The
Intimate Relation of Rhythm to Movement--The Physiological Influence of
Music on Muscular Action, Circulation, Respiration, etc.--The Place of
Music in Sexual Selection among the Lower Animals--Its Comparatively Small
Place in Courtship among Mammals--The Larynx and Voice in Man--The
Significance of the Pubertal Changes--Ancient Beliefs Concerning the
Influence of Music in Morals, Education, and Medicine--Its Therapeutic
Uses--Significance of the Romantic Interest in Music at Puberty--Men
Comparatively Insusceptible to the Specifically Sexual Influence of
Music--Rarity of Sexual Perversions on the Basis of the Sense of
Hearing--The Part of Music in Primitive Human Courtship--Women Notably
Susceptible to the Specifically Sexual Influence of Music and the Voice.

The sense of rhythm--on which it may be said that the sensory exciting
effects of hearing, including music, finally rest--may probably be
regarded as a fundamental quality of neuro-muscular tissue. Not only are
the chief physiological functions of the body, like the circulation and
the respiration, definitely rhythmical, but our senses insist on imparting
a rhythmic grouping even to an absolutely uniform succession of
sensations. It seems probable, although this view is still liable to be
disputed, that this rhythm is the result of kinaesthetic
sensations,--sensations arising from movement or tension started reflexly
in the muscles by the external stimuli,--impressing themselves on the
sensations that are thus grouped.[86] We may thus say, with Wilks, that
music appears to have had its origin in muscular action.[87]

Whatever its exact origin may be, rhythm is certainly very deeply
impressed on our organisms. The result is that, whatever lends itself to
the neuro-muscular rhythmical tendency of our organisms, whatever tends
still further to heighten and develop that rhythmical tendency, exerts
upon us a very decidedly stimulating and exciting influence.

All muscular action being stimulated by rhythm, in its simple form or in
its more developed form as music, rhythm is a stimulant to work. It has
even been argued by Buecher and by Wundt[88] that human song had its chief
or exclusive origin in rhythmical vocal accompaniments to systematized
work. This view cannot, however, be maintained; systematized work can
scarcely be said to exist, even to-day, among most very primitive races;
it is much more probable that rhythmical song arose at a period antecedent
to the origin of systematized work, in the primitive military, religious,
and erotic dances, such as exist in a highly developed degree among the
Australians and other savage races who have not evolved co-ordinated
systematic labor. There can, however, be no doubt that as soon as
systematic work appears the importance of vocal rhythm in stimulating its
energy is at once everywhere recognized. Buecher has brought together
innumerable examples of this association, and in the march music of
soldiers and the heaving and hoisting songs of sailors we have instances
that have universally persisted into civilization, although in
civilization the rhythmical stimulation of work, physiologically sound as
is its basis, tends to die out. Even in the laboratory the influence of
simple rhythm in increasing the output of work may be demonstrated; and
Fere found with the ergograph that a rhythmical grouping of the movements
caused an increase of energy which often more than compensated the loss of
time caused by the rhythm.[89]

Rhythm is the most primitive element of music, and the most fundamental.
Wallaschek, in his book on _Primitive Music_, and most other writers on
the subject are agreed on this point. "Rhythm," remarks an American
anthropologist,[90] "naturally precedes the development of any fine
perception of differences in pitch, of time-quality, or of tonality.
Almost, if not all, Indian songs," he adds, "are as strictly developed out
of modified repetitions of a motive as are the movements of a Mozart or a
Beethoven symphony." "In all primitive music," asserts Alice C.
Fletcher,[91] "rhythm is strongly developed. The pulsations of the drum
and the sharp crash of the rattles are thrown against each other and
against the voice, so that it would seem that the pleasure derived by the
performers lay not so much in the tonality of the song as in the measured
sounds arrayed in contesting rhythm, and which by their clash start the
nerves and spur the body to action, for the voice which alone carries the
tone is often subordinated and treated as an additional instrument." Groos
points out that a melody gives us the essential impression of a _voice
that dances_;[92] it is a translation of spatial movement into sound, and,
as we shall see, its physiological action on the organism is a reflection
of that which, as we have elsewhere found,[93] dancing itself produces,
and thus resembles that produced by the sight of movement. Dancing, music,
and poetry were primitively so closely allied as to be almost identical;
they were still inseparable among the early Greeks. The refrains in our
English ballads indicate the dancer's part in them. The technical use of
the word "foot" in metrical matters still persists to show that a poem is
fundamentally a dance.

    Aristotle seems to have first suggested that rhythm and melodies
    are motions, as actions are motions, and therefore signs of
    feeling. "All melodies are motions," says Helmholtz. "Graceful
    rapidity, gravel procession, quiet advance, wild leaping, all
    these different characters of motion and a thousand others can be
    represented by successions of tones. And as music expresses these
    motions it gives an expression also to those mental conditions
    which naturally evoke similar motions, whether of the body and
    the voice, or of the thinking and feeling principle itself."
    (Helmholtz, _On the Sensations of Tone_, translated by A. J.
    Ellis, 1885, p. 250.)

    From another point of view the motor stimulus of music has been
    emphasized by Cyples: "Music connects with the only sense that
    can be perfectly manipulated. Its emotional charm has struck men
    as a great mystery. There appears to be no doubt whatever that it
    gets all the marvelous effects it has beyond the mere pleasing of
    the ear, from its random, but multitudinous summonses of the
    efferent activity, which at its vague challenges stirs
    unceasingly in faintly tumultuous irrelevancy. In this way, music
    arouses aimlessly, but splendidly, the sheer, as yet unfulfilled,
    potentiality within us." (W. Copies, _The Process of Human
    Experience_, p. 743.)

    The fundamental element of transformed motion in music has been
    well brought out in a suggestive essay by Goblot ("La Musique
    Descriptive," _Revue Philosophique_, July, 1901): "Sung or
    played, melody figures to the ear a successive design, a moving
    arabesque. We talk of _ascending_ and _descending_ the gamut, of
    _high_ notes or _low_ notes; the; higher voice of woman is called
    _soprano_, or _above_, the deeper voice of man is called _bass_.
    _Grave_ tones were so called by the Greeks because they seemed
    heavy and to incline downward. Sounds seem to be subject to the
    action of gravity; so that some rise and others fall. Baudelaire,
    speaking of the prelude to _Lohengrin_, remarks: 'I felt myself
    _delivered from the bonds of weight_.' And when Wagner sought to
    represent, in the highest regions of celestial space, the
    apparition of the angels bearing the Holy Grail to earth, he uses
    very high notes, and a kind of chorus played exclusively by the
    violins, divided into eight parts, in the highest notes of their
    register. The descent to earth of the celestial choir is rendered
    by lower and lower notes, the progressive disappearance of which
    represents the reascension to the ethereal regions.

    "Sounds seem to rise and fall; that is a fact. It is difficult to
    explain it. Some have seen in it a habit derived from the usual
    notation by which the height of the note corresponds to its
    height in the score. But the impression is too deep and general
    to be explained by so superficial and recent a cause. It has been
    suggested also that high notes are generally produced by small
    and light bodies, low notes by heavy bodies. But that is not
    always true. It has been said, again, that high notes in nature
    are usually produced by highly placed objects, while low notes
    arise from caves and low placed regions. But the thunder is heard
    in the sky, and the murmur of a spring or the song of a cricket
    arise from the earth. In the human voice, again, it is said, the
    low notes seem to resound in the chest, high notes in the head.
    All this is unsatisfactory. We cannot explain by such coarse
    analogies an impression which is very precise, and more sensible
    (this fact has its importance) for an interval of half a tone
    than for an interval of an octave. It is probable that the true
    explanation is to be found in the still little understood
    connection between the elements of our nervous apparatus.

    "Nearly all our emotions tend to produce movement. But education
    renders us economical of our acts. Most of these movements are
    repressed, especially in the adult and civilized man, as harmful,
    dangerous, or merely useless. Some are not completed, others are
    reduced to a faint incitation which externally is scarcely
    perceptible. Enough remain to constitute all that is expressive
    in our gestures, physiognomy, and attitudes. Melodic intervals
    possess in a high degree this property of provoking impulses of
    movement, which, even when repressed, leave behind internal
    sensations and motor images. It would be possible to study these
    facts experimentally if we had at our disposition a human being
    who, while retaining his sensations and their motor reactions,
    was by special circumstances rendered entirely spontaneous like a
    sensitive automaton, whose movements were neither intentionally
    produced nor intentionally repressed. In this way, melodic
    intervals in a hypnotized subject might be very instructive."

    A number of experiments of the kind desired by Goblot had already
    been made by A. de Rochas in a book, copiously illustrated by
    very numerous instantaneous photographs, entitled _Les
    Sentiments, la Musique et la Geste_, 1900. Chapter III. De Rochas
    experimented on a single subject, Lina, formerly a model, who was
    placed in a condition of slight hypnosis, when various simple
    fragments of music were performed: recitatives, popular airs, and
    more especially national dances, often from remote parts of the
    world. The subject's gestures were exceedingly marked and varied
    in accordance with the character of the music. It was found that
    she often imitated with considerable precision the actual
    gestures of dances she could never have seen. The same music
    always evoked the same gestures, as was shown by instantaneous
    photographs. This subject, stated to be a chaste and well-behaved
    girl, exhibited no indications of definite sexual emotion under
    the influence of any kind of music. Some account is given in the
    same volume of other hypnotic experiments with music which were
    also negative as regards specific sexual phenomena.

It must be noted that, as a physiological stimulus, a single musical note
is effective, even apart from rhythm, as is well shown by Fere's
experiments with the dynamometer and the ergograph.[94] It is, however,
the influence of music on muscular work which has been most frequently
investigated, and both on brief efforts with the dynamometer and prolonged
work with the ergograph it has been found to exert a stimulating
influence. Thus, Scripture found that, while his own maximum thumb and
finger grip with the dynamometer is 8 pounds, when the giant's motive from
Wagner's _Rheingold_ is played it rises to 83/4 pounds.[95] With the
ergograph Tarchanoff found that lively music, in nervously sensitive
persons, will temporarily cause the disappearance of fatigue, though slow
music in a minor key had an opposite effect.[96] The varying influence on
work with the ergograph of different musical intervals and different keys
has been carefully studied by Fere with many interesting results. There
was a very considerable degree of constancy in the results. Discords were
depressing; most, but not all, major keys were stimulating; and most, but
not all, minor keys depressing. In states of fatigue, however, the minor
keys were more stimulating than the major, an interesting result in
harmony with that stimulating influence of various painful emotions in
states of organic fatigue which we have elsewhere encountered when
investigating sadism.[97] "Our musical culture," Fere remarks, "only
renders more perceptible to us the unconscious relationships which exist
between musical art and our organisms. Those whom we consider more endowed
in this respect have a deeper penetration of the phenomena accomplished
within them; they feel more profoundly the marvelous reactions between the
organism and the principles of musical art, they experience more strongly
that art is within them."[98] Both the higher and the lower muscular
processes, the voluntary and the involuntary, are stimulated by music.
Darlington and Talbot, in Titchener's laboratory at Cornell University,
found that the estimation of relative weights was aided by music.[99]
Lombard found, when investigating the normal variations in the knee-jerk,
that involuntary reflex processes are always reinforced by music; a
military band playing a lively march caused the knee-jerk to increase at
the loud passages and to diminish at the soft passages, while remaining
always above the normal level.[100]

With this stimulating influence of rhythm and music on the neuro-muscular
system--which may or may not be direct--there is a concomitant influence
on the circulatory and breathing apparatus. During recent years a great
many experiments have been made on man and animals bearing on the effects
of music on the heart and respiration. Perhaps the earliest of these were
carried out by the Russian physiologist Dogiel in 1880.[101] His methods
were perhaps defective and his results, at all events as regards man,
uncertain, but in animals the force and rapidity of the heart were
markedly increased. Subsequent investigations have shown very clearly the
influence of music on the circulatory and respiratory systems in man as
well as in animals. That music has an apparently direct influence on the
circulation of the brain is shown by the observations of Patrizi on a
youth who had received a severe wound of the head which had removed a
large portion of the skull wall. The stimulus of melody produced an
immediate increase in the afflux of blood to the brain.[102]

In Germany the question was investigated at about the same time by
Mentz.[103] Observing the pulse with a sphygmograph and Marey tambour he
found distinct evidence of an effect on the heart; when attention was
given to the music the pulse was quickened, in the absence of attention it
was slowed; Mentz also found that pleasurable sensations tended to slow
the pulse and disagreeable ones to quicken it.

Binet and Courtier made an elaborate series of experiments on the action
of music on the respiration (with the double pneumograph), the heart, and
the capillary circulation (with the plethysmograph of Hallion and Comte)
on a single subject, a man very sensitive to music and himself a cultured
musician. Simple musical sounds with no emotional content accelerated the
respiration without changing its regularity or amplitude. Musical
fragments, mostly sung, usually well known to the subject, and having an
emotional effect on him, produced respiratory irregularity either in
amplitude or rapidity of breathing, in two-thirds of the trials. Exciting
music, such as military marches, accelerated the breathing more than sad
melodies, but the intensity of the excitation had an effect at least as
great as its quality, for intense excitations always produced both
quickened and deeper breathing. The heart was quickened in harmony with
the quickened breathing. Neither breathing nor heart was ever slowed. As
regards the capillary pulsation, an influence was exerted chiefly, if not
exclusively, by gay and exciting melodies, which produced a shrinking.
Throughout the experiments it was found that the most profound
physiological effects were exerted by those pieces which the subject found
to be most emotional in their influence on him.[104]

Guibaud studied the question on a number of subjects, confirming and
extending the conclusions of Binet and Courtier. He found that the
reactions of different individuals varied, but that for the same
individual reactions were constant. Circulatory reaction was more often
manifest than respiratory reaction. The latter might be either a
simultaneous modification of depth and of rapidity or of either of these.
The circulatory reaction was a peripheral vasoconstriction with diminished
fullness of pulse and slight acceleration of cardiac rhythm; there was
never any distinct slowing of heart under the influence of music. Guibaud
remarks that when people say they feel a shudder at some passage of music,
this sensation of cold finds its explanation in the production of a
peripheral vasoconstriction which may be registered by the

Since music thus directly and powerfully affects the chief vital
processes, it is not surprising that it should indirectly influence
various viscera and functions. As Tarchanoff and others have demonstrated,
it affects the skin, increasing the perspiration; it may produce a
tendency to tears; it sometimes produces desire to urinate, or even actual
urination, as in Scaliger's case of the Gascon gentleman who was always
thus affected on hearing the bagpipes. In dogs it has been shown by
Tarchanoff and Wartanoff that auditory stimulation increases the
consumption of oxygen 20 per cent., and the elimination of carbonic acid
17 per cent.

In addition to the effects of musical sound already mentioned, it may be
added that, as Epstein, of Berne, has shown,[106] the other senses are
stimulated under the influence of sound, and notably there is an increase
in acuteness of vision which may be experimentally demonstrated. It is
probable that this effect of music in heightening the impressions received
by the other senses is of considerable significance from our present point
of view.

Why are musical tones in a certain order and rhythm pleasurable? asked
Darwin in _The Descent of Man_, and he concluded that the question was
insoluble. We see that, in reality, whatever the ultimate answer may be,
the immediate reason is quite simple. Pleasure is a condition of slight
and diffused stimulation, in which the heart and breathing are faintly
excited, the neuro-muscular system receives additional tone, the viscera
gently stirred, the skin activity increased; and certain combinations of
musical notes and intervals act as a physiological stimulus in producing
these effects.[107]

Among animals of all kinds, from insects upward, this physiological action
appears to exist, for among nearly all of them certain sounds are
agreeable and attractive, and other sounds indifferent and disagreeable.
It appears that insects of quite different genera show much appreciation
of the song of the Cicada.[108] Birds show intense interest in the singing
of good performers even of other species. Experiments among a variety of
animals in the Zooelogical Gardens with performances on various instruments
showed that with the exception of seals none were indifferent, and all
felt a discord as offensive. Many animals showed marked likes and
dislikes; thus, a tiger, who was obviously soothed by the violin, was
infuriated by the piccolo; the violin and the flute were preferred by most

    Most persons have probably had occasion to observe the
    susceptibility of dogs to music. It may here suffice to give one
    personal observation. A dog (of mixed breed, partly collie), very
    well known to me, on hearing a nocturne of Chopin, whined and
    howled, especially at the more pathetic passages, once or twice
    catching and drawing out the actual note played; he panted,
    walked about anxiously, and now and then placed his head on the
    player's lap. When the player proceeded to a more cheerful piece
    by Grieg, the dog at once became indifferent, sat down, yawned,
    and scratched himself; but as soon as the player returned once
    more to the nocturne the dog at once repeated his accompaniment.

There can be no doubt that among a very large number of animals of most
various classes, more especially among insects and birds, the attraction
of music is supported and developed on the basis of sexual attraction, the
musical notes emitted serving as a sexual lure to the other sex. The
evidence on this point was carefully investigated by Darwin on a very wide
basis.[110] It has been questioned, some writers preferring to adopt the
view of Herbert Spencer,[111] that the singing of birds is due to
"overflow of energy," the relation between courtship and singing being
merely "a relation of concomitance." This view is no longer tenable;
whatever the precise origin of the musical notes of animals may be,--and
it is not necessary to suppose that sexual attraction had a large part in
their first rudimentary beginnings,--there can now be little doubt that
musical sounds, and, among birds, singing, play a very large part indeed
in bringing the male and the female together.[112] Usually, it would
appear, it is the performance of the male that attracts the female; it is
only among very simple and primitive musicians, like some insects, that
the female thus attracts the male.[113] The fact that it is nearly always
one sex only that is thus musically gifted should alone have sufficed to
throw suspicion on any but a sexual solution of this problem of animal

It is, however, an exceedingly remarkable fact that, although among
insects and lower vertebrates the sexual influence of music is so large,
and although among mammals and predominantly in man the emotional and
aesthetic influence of music is so great, yet neither in man nor any of the
higher mammals has music been found to exert a predominant sexual
influence, or even in most cases any influence at all. Darwin, while
calling attention to the fact that the males of most species of mammals
use their vocal powers chiefly, and sometimes exclusively, during the
breeding-season, adds that "it is a surprising fact that we have not as
yet any good evidence that these organs are used by male mammals to charm
the female."[114] From a very different standpoint, Fere, in studying the
pathology of the human sexual instinct in the light of a very full
knowledge of the available evidence, states that he knows of no detailed
observations showing the existence of any morbid sexual perversions based
on the sense of hearing, either in reference to the human voice or to
instrumental music.[115]

When, however, we consider that not only in the animals most nearly
related to man, but in man himself, the larynx and the voice undergo a
marked sexual differentiation at puberty, it is difficult not to believe
that this change has an influence on sexual selection and sexual
psychology. At puberty there is a slight hyperaemia of the larynx,
accompanied by rapid development alike of the larynx itself and of the
vocal cords, which become larger and thicker, while there is an associated
change in the voice, which deepens. All these changes are very slight in
girls, but very pronounced in boys, whose voices are said to "break" and
then become lower by at least an octave. The feminine larynx at puberty
only increases in the proportion of 5 to 7, but the masculine larynx in
the proportion of 5 to 10. The direct dependence of this change on the
general sexual development is shown not merely by its occurrence at
puberty, but by the fact that in eunuchs in whom the testicles have been
removed before puberty the voice retains its childlike qualities.[116]

As a matter of fact, I believe that we may attach a considerable degree of
importance to the voice and to music generally as a method of sexual
appeal. On this point I agree with Moll, who remarks that "the sense of
hearing here plays a considerable part, and the stimulation received
through the ears is much larger than is usually believed."[117] I am not,
however, inclined to think that this influence is considerable in its
action on men, although Mantegazza remarks, doubtless with a certain
truth, that "some women's voices cannot be heard with impunity." It is
true that the ancients deprecated the sexual or at all events the
effeminating influence of some kinds of music, but they seem to have
regarded it as sedative rather than stimulating; the kind of music they
approved of as martial and stimulating was the kind most likely to have
sexual effects in predisposed persons.

    The Chinese and the Greeks have more especially insisted on the
    ethical qualities of music and on its moralizing and demoralizing
    effects. Some three thousand years ago, it is stated, a Chinese
    emperor, believing that only they who understood music are
    capable of governing, distributed administrative functions in
    accordance with this belief. He acted entirely in accordance with
    Chinese morality, the texts of Confucianism (see translations in
    the "Sacred Books of the East Series") show clearly that music
    and ceremony (or social ritual in a wide sense) are regarded as
    the two main guiding influences of life--music as the internal
    guide, ceremony as the external guide, the former being looked
    upon as the more important.

    Among the Greeks Menander said that to many people music is a
    powerful stimulant to love. Plato, in the third book of the
    _Republic_, discusses what kinds of music should be encouraged in
    his ideal state. He does not clearly state that music is ever a
    sexual stimulant, but he appears to associate plaintive music
    (mixed Lydian and Hypolydian) with drunkenness, effeminacy, and
    idleness and considers that such music is "useless even to women
    that are to be virtuously given, not to say to men." He only
    admits two kinds of music: one violent and suited to war, the
    other tranquil and suited to prayer or to persuasion. He sets out
    the ethical qualities of music with a thoroughness which almost
    approaches the great Chinese philosopher: "On these accounts we
    attach such importance to a musical education, because rhythm and
    harmony sink most deeply into the recesses of the soul, and take
    most powerful hold of it, bringing gracefulness in their train,
    and making a man graceful if he be rightly nurtured, ... leading
    him to commend beautiful objects, and gladly receive them into
    his soul, and feed upon them, and grow to be noble and good."
    Plato is, however, by no means so consistent and thorough as the
    Chinese moralist, for having thus asserted that it is the
    influence of music which molds the soul into virtue, he proceeds
    to destroy his position with the statement that "we shall never
    become truly musical until we know the essential forms of
    temperance and courage and liberality and munificence," thus
    moving in a circle. It must be added that the Greek conception of
    music was very comprehensive and included poetry.

    Aristotle took a wider view of music than Plato and admitted a
    greater variety of uses for it. He was less anxious to exclude
    those uses which were not strictly ethical. He disapproved,
    indeed, of the Phrygian harmony as the expression of Bacchic
    excitement. He accepts, however, the function of music as a
    katharsis of emotion, a notion which is said to have originated
    with the Pythagoreans. (For a discussion of Aristotle's views on
    music, see W.L. Newman, _The Politics of Aristotle_, vol. i, pp.

    Athenaeus, in his frequent allusions to music, attributes to it
    many intellectual and emotional properties (e.g., Book XIV,
    Chapter XXV) and in one place refers to "melodies inciting to
    lawless indulgence" (Book XIII, Chapter LXXV).

    We may gather from the _Priapeia_ (XXVI) that cymbals and
    castanets were the special accompaniment in antiquity of wanton
    songs and dances: "_cymbala, cum crotalis, pruriginis arma_."

    The ancient belief in the moralizing influence of music has
    survived into modern times mainly in a somewhat more scientific
    form as a belief in its therapeutic effects in disordered nervous
    and mental conditions. (This also is an ancient belief as
    witnessed by the well-known example of David playing to Saul to
    dispel his melancholia.) In 1729 an apothecary of Oakham, Richard
    Broune, published a work entitled _Medicina Musica_, in which he
    argued that music was beneficial in many maladies. In more recent
    days there have been various experiments and cases brought
    forward showing its efficacy in special conditions.

    An American physician (W.F. Hutchinson) has shown that anaesthesia
    may be produced with accurately made tuning forks at certain
    rates of vibration (summarized in the _British Medical Journal_,
    June 4, 1898). Ferrand in a paper read before the Paris Academy
    of Medicine in September, 1895, gives reasons for classing some
    kinds of music as powerful antispasmodics with beneficial
    therapeutic action. The case was subsequently reported of a child
    in whom night-terrors were eased by calming music in a minor key.
    The value of music in lunatic asylums is well recognized; see
    e.g., Naecke, _Revue de Psychiatrie_, October, 1897. Vaschide and
    Vurpas (_Comptes Rendus de la Societe de Biologie_, December 13,
    1902) have recorded the case of a girl of 20, suffering from
    mental confusion with excitation and central motor
    disequilibrium, whose muscular equilibrium was restored and
    movements rendered more co-ordinated and adaptive under the
    influence of music.

    While there has been much extravagance in the ancient doctrine
    concerning the effects of music, the real effects are still
    considerable. Not only is this demonstrated by the experiments
    already referred to (p. 118), indicating the efficacy of musical
    sounds as physiological stimulants, but also by anatomical
    considerations. The roots of the auditory nerves, McKendrick has
    pointed out, are probably more widely distributed and have more
    extensive connections than those of any other nerve. The
    intricate connections of these nerves are still only being
    unraveled. This points to an explanation of how music penetrates
    to the very roots of our being, influencing by associational
    paths reflex mechanisms both cerebral and somatic, so that there
    is scarcely a function of the body that may not be affected by
    the rhythmical pulsations, melodic progressions, and harmonic
    combinations of musical tones. (_Nature_, June 15, 1899, p. 164.)

Just as we are not entitled from the ancient belief in the influence of
music on morals or the modern beliefs in its therapeutic influence--even
though this has sometimes gone to the length of advocating its use in
impotence[118]--to argue that music has a marked influence in exciting the
specifically sexual instincts, neither are we entitled to find any similar
argument in the fact that music is frequently associated with the
love-feelings of youth. Men are often able to associate many of their
earliest ideas of love in boyhood with women singing or playing; but in
these cases it will always be found that the fascination was romantic and
sentimental, and not specifically erotic.[119] In adult life the music
which often seems to us to be most definitely sexual in its appeal (such
as much of Wagner's _Tristan_) really produces this effect in part from
the association with the story, and in part from the intellectual
realization of the composer's effort to translate passion into aesthetic
terms; the actual effect of the music is not sexual, and it can well be
believed that the results of experiments as regards the sexual influence
of the _Tristan_ music on men under the influence of hypnotism have been,
as reported, negative. Helmholtz goes so far as to state that the
expression of sexual longing in music is identical with that of religious
longing. It is quite true, again, that a soft and gentle voice seems to
every normal man as to Lear "an excellent thing in woman," and that a
harsh or shrill voice may seem to deaden or even destroy altogether the
attraction of a beautiful face. But the voice is not usually in itself an
adequate or powerful method of evoking sexual emotion in a man. Even in
its supreme vocal manifestations the sexual fascination exerted by a great
singer, though certainly considerable, cannot be compared with that
commonly exerted by the actress. Cases have, indeed, been
recorded--chiefly occurring, it is probable, in men of somewhat morbid
nervous disposition--in which sexual attraction was exerted chiefly
through the ear, or in which there was a special sexual sensibility to
particular inflections or accents.[120] Fere mentions the case of a young
man in hospital with acute arthritis who complained of painful erections
whenever he heard through the door the very agreeable voice of the young
woman (invisible to him) who superintended the linen.[121] But these
phenomena do not appear to be common, or, at all events, very pronounced.
So far as my own inquiries go, only a small proportion of men would
appear to experience definite sexual feelings on listening to music. And
the fact that in woman the voice is so slightly differentiated from that
of the child, as well as the very significant fact that among man's
immediate or even remote ancestors the female's voice can seldom have
served to attract the male, sufficiently account for the small part played
by the voice and by music as a sexual allurement working on men.[122]

It is otherwise with women. It may, indeed, be said at the outset that the
reasons which make it antecedently improbable that men should be sexually
attracted through hearing render it probable that women should be so
attracted. The change in the voice at puberty makes the deeper masculine
voice a characteristic secondary sexual attribute of man, while the fact
that among mammals generally it is the male that is most vocal--and that
chiefly, or even sometimes exclusively, at the rutting season--renders it
antecedently likely that among mammals generally, including the human
species, there is in the female an actual or latent susceptibility to the
sexual significance of the male voice,[123] a susceptibility which, under
the conditions of human civilization, may be transferred to music
generally. It is noteworthy that in novels written by women there is a
very frequent attentiveness to the qualities of the hero's voice and to
its emotional effects on the heroine.[124] We may also note the special
and peculiar personal enthusiasm aroused in women by popular musicians, a
more pronounced enthusiasm than is evoked in them by popular actors.

    As an interesting example of the importance attached by women
    novelists to the effects of the male voice I may refer to George
    Eliot's _Mill on the Floss_, probably the most intimate and
    personal of George Eliot's works. In Book VI of this novel the
    influence of Stephen Guest (a somewhat commonplace young man)
    over Maggie Tulliver is ascribed almost exclusively to the effect
    of his base voice in singing. We are definitely told of Maggie
    Tulliver's "sensibility to the supreme excitement of music."
    Thus, on one occasion, "all her intentions were lost in the vague
    state of emotion produced by the inspiring duet--emotion that
    seemed to make her at once strong and weak: strong for all
    enjoyment, weak for all resistance. Poor Maggie! She looked very
    beautiful when her soul was being played on in this way by the
    inexorable power of sound. You might have seen the slightest
    perceptible quivering through her whole frame as she leaned a
    little forward, clasping her hands as if to steady herself; while
    her eyes dilated and brightened into that wideopen, childish
    expression of wondering delight, which always came back in her
    happiest moments." George Eliot's novels contain many allusions
    to the powerful emotional effects of music.

    It is unnecessary to refer to Tolstoy's _Kreutzer Sonata_, in
    which music is regarded as the Galeotto to bring lovers
    together--"the connecting bond of music, the most refined lust of
    the senses."

In primitive human courtship music very frequently plays a considerable
part, though not usually the sole part, being generally found as the
accompaniment of the song and the dance at erotic festivals.[125] The
Gilas, of New Mexico, among whom courtship consists in a prolonged
serenade day after day with the flute, furnish a somewhat exceptional
case. Savage women are evidently very attentive to music; Backhouse (as
quoted, by Ling Roth[126]) mentions how a woman belonging to the very
primitive and now extinct Tasmanian race, when shown a musical box,
listened "with intensity; her ears moved like those of a dog or horse, to
catch the sound."

I have found little evidence to show that music, except in occasional
cases, exerts even the slightest specifically sexual effect on men,
whether musical or unmusical. But I have ample evidence that it very
frequently exerts to a slight but definite extent such an influence on
women, even when quite normal. Judging from my own inquiries it would,
indeed, seem likely that the majority of normal educated women are liable
to experience some degree of definite sexual excitement from music; one
states that orchestral music generally tends to produce this effect;
another finds it chiefly from Wagner's music; another from military music,
etc. Others simply state--what, indeed, probably expresses the experience
of most persons of either sex--that it heightens one's mood. One lady
mentions that some of her friends, whose erotic feelings are aroused by
music, are especially affected in this way by the choral singing in Roman
Catholic churches.[127]

In the typical cases just mentioned, all fairly normal and healthy women,
the sexual effects of music though definite were usually quite slight. In
neuropathic subjects they may occasionally be more pronounced. Thus, a
medical correspondent has communicated to me the case of a married lady
with one child, a refined, very beautiful, but highly neurotic, woman,
married to a man with whom she has nothing in common. Her tastes lie in
the direction of music; she is a splendid pianist, and her highly trained
voice would have made a fortune. She confesses to strong sexual feelings
and does not understand why intercourse never affords what she knows she
wants. But the hearing of beautiful music, or at times the excitement of
her own singing, will sometimes cause intense orgasm.

    Vaschide and Vurpas, who emphasize the sexually stimulating
    effects of music, only bring forward one case in any detail, and
    it is doubtless significant that this case is a woman. "While
    listening to a piece of music X changes expression, her eyes
    become bright, the features are accentuated, a smile begins to
    form, an expression of pleasure appears, the body becomes more
    erect, there is a general muscular hypertonicity. X tells us that
    as she listens to the music she experiences sensations very like
    those of normal intercourse. The difference chiefly concerns the
    local genital apparatus, for there is no flow of vaginal mucus.
    On the psychic side the resemblance is marked." (Vaschide and
    Vurpas, "Du Coefficient Sexual de l'Impulsion Musicale,"
    _Archives de Neurologie_, May, 1904.)

    It is sometimes said, or implied, that a woman (or a man) sings
    better under the influence of sexual emotion. The writer of an
    article already quoted, on "Woman in her Psychological Relations"
    (_Journal of Psychological Medicine_, 1851), mentions that "a
    young lady remarkable for her musical and poetical talents
    naively remarked to a friend who complimented her upon her
    singing: 'I never sing half so well as when I've had a
    love-fit.'" And George Eliot says. "There is no feeling, perhaps,
    except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not make a man
    sing or play the better." While, however, it may be admitted that
    some degree of general emotional exaltation may exercise a
    favorable influence on the singing voice, it is difficult to
    believe that definite physical excitement at or immediately
    before the exercise of the voice can, as a rule, have anything
    but a deleterious effect on its quality. It is recognized that
    tenors (whose voices resemble those of women more than basses,
    who are not called upon to be so careful in this respect) should
    observe rules of sexual hygiene; and menstruation frequently has
    a definite influence in impairing the voice (H. Ellis, _Man and
    Woman_, fourth edition, p. 290). As the neighborhood of
    menstruation is also the period when sexual excitement is most
    likely to be felt, we have here a further indication that sexual
    emotion is not favorable to singing. I agree with the remarks of
    a correspondent, a musical amateur, who writes: "Sexual
    excitement and good singing do not appear to be correlated. A
    woman's emotional capacity in singing or acting may be remotely
    associated with hysterical neuroses, but is better evinced for
    art purposes in the absence of disturbing sexual influences. A
    woman may, indeed, fancy herself the heroine of a wanton romance
    and 'let herself go' a little in singing with improved results.
    But a memory of sexual ardors will help no woman to make the best
    of her voice in training. Some women can only sing their best
    when they think of the other women they are outsinging. One girl
    'lets her soul go out into her voice' thinking of jamroll,
    another thinking of her lover (when she has none), and most, no
    doubt, when they think of nothing. But no woman is likely to
    'find herself' in an artistic sense because she has lost herself
    in another sense--not even if she has done so quite respectably."

The reality of the association between the sexual impulse and music--and,
indeed, art generally--is shown by the fact that the evolution of puberty
tends to be accompanied by a very marked interest in musical and other
kinds of art. Lancaster, in a study of this question among a large number
of young people (without reference to difference in sex, though they were
largely female), found that from 50 to 75 per cent of young people feel an
impulse to art about the period of puberty, lasting a few months, or at
most a year or two. It appears that 464 young people showed an increased
and passionate love for music, against only 102 who experienced no change
in this respect. The curve culminates at the age of 15 and falls rapidly
after 16. Many of these cases were really quite unmusical.[128]


[86] This view has been more especially developed by J.B. Miner, _Motor,
Visual, and Applied Rhythms_, Psychological Review Monograph Supplements,
vol. v, No. 4, 1903.

[87] Sir S. Wilks, _Medical Magazine_, January, 1894; cf. Clifford
Allbutt, "Music, Rhythm, and Muscle," _Nature_, February 8, 1894.

[88] Buecher, _Arbeit und Rhythmus_, third edition, 1902; Wundt,
_Voelkerpsychologie_, 1900, Part I, p. 265.

[89] Fere deals fully with the question in his book, _Travail et Plaisir_,
1904, Chapter III, "Influence du Rhythme sur le Travail."

[90] Fillmore, "Primitive Scales and Rhythms," _Proceedings of the
International Congress of Anthropology_, Chicago, 1893.

[91] "Love Songs among the Omaha Indians," in _Proceedings_ of same

[92] Groos, _Spiele der Menschen_, p. 33.

[93] "Analysis of the Sexual Impulse," _Studies in the Psychology of Sex_,
vol. iii.

[94] Fere, _Sensation et Mouvement_, Chapter V; id., _Travail et Plaisir_,
Chapter XII.

[95] Scripture, _Thinking, Feeling, Doing_, p. 85.

[96] Tarchanoff, "Influence de la Musique sur l'Homme et sur les Animaux,"
_Atti dell' XI Congresso Medico Internationale_, Rome, 1894, vol. ii, p.
153; also in _Archives Italiennes de Biologie_, 1894.

[97] "Love and Pain," _Studies in the Psychology of Sex_, vol. iii.

[98] Fere, _Travail et Plaisir_, Chapter XII, "Action Physiologique des
Sens Musicaux." "A practical treatise on harmony," Goblot remarks (_Revue
Philosophique_, July, 1901, p. 61), "ought to tell us in what way such an
interval, or such a succession of intervals, affects us. A theoretical
treatise on harmony ought to tell us the explanation of these impressions.
In a word, musical harmony is a psychological science." He adds that this
science is very far from being constituted yet; we have hardly even
obtained a glimpse of it.

[99] _American Journal of Psychology_, April, 1898.

[100] _American Journal of Psychology_, November, 1887. The influence of
rhythm on the involuntary muscular system is indicated by the occasional
effect of music in producing a tendency to contraction of the bladder.

[101] _Archiv fuer Anatomie und Physiologie_ (Physiologisches Abtheilung),
1880, p. 420.

[102] M.L. Patrizi, "Primi esperimenti intorno all' influenza della musica
sulla circolozione del sangue nel cervello umano," _International Congress
fuer Psychologie_, Munich, 1897, p. 176.

[103] _Philosophische Studien_, vol. xi.

[104] Binet and Courtier, "La Vie Emotionelle," _Annee Psychologique_,
Third Year, 1897, pp. 104-125.

[105] Guibaud, _Contribution a l'etude experimentale de l'influence de la
musique sur la circulation et la respiration_. These de Bordeaux, 1898,
summarized in _Annee Psychologique_, Fifth Year, 1899, pp. 645-649.

[106] _International Congress of Physiology_, Berne, 1895.

[107] The influence of association plays no necessary part in these
pleasurable influences, for Fere's experiments show that an unmusical
subject responds physiologically, with much precision, to musical
intervals he is unable to recognize. R. MacDougall also finds that the
effective quality of rhythmical sequences does not appear to be dependent
on secondary associations (_Psychological Review_, January, 1903).

[108] R.T. Lewis, in _Nature Notes_, August, 1891.

[109] Cornish, "Orpheus at the Zoo," in _Life at the Zoo_, pp. 115-138.

[110] _Descent of Man_, Chapters XIII and XIX.

[111] "The Origin of Music" (1857), _Essays_, vol. ii.

[112] Anyone who is in doubt on this point, as regards bird song, may
consult the little book in which the evidence has been well summarized by
Haecker, _Der Gesang der Voegel_, or the discussion in Groos's _Spiele der
Thiere_, pp. 274 et seq.

[113] Thus, mosquitoes are irresistibly attracted by music, and especially
by those musical tones which resemble the buzzing of the female; the males
alone are thus attracted. (Nuttall and Shipley, and Sir Hiram Maxim,
quoted in _Nature_, October 31, 1901, p. 655, and in _Lancet_, February
22, 1902.)

[114] _Descent of Man_, second edition, p. 567. Groos, in his discussion
of music, also expresses doubt whether hearing plays a considerable part
in the courtship of mammals, _Spiele der Menschen_, p. 22.

[115] Fere, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, second edition, p. 137.

[116] See Bierent, _La Puberte_ Chapter IV; also Havelock Ellis, _Man and
Woman_, fourth edition, pp. 270-272. Endriss (_Die Bisherigen
Beobachtungen von Physiologischen und Pathologischen Beziehungen der
oberen Luftwege zu den Sexualorganen_, Teil III) brings together various
observations on the normal and abnormal relations of the larynx to the
sexual sphere.

[117] Moll, _Untersuchungen ueber die Libido Sexualis_, bd. 1, p. 133.

[118] J.L. Roger, _Traite des Effets de la Musique_, 1803, pp. 234 and

[119] A typical example occurs in the early life of History I in Appendix
B to vol. iii of these _Studies_.

[120] Vaschide and Vurpas state (_Archives de Neurologie_, May, 1904) that
in their experience music may facilitate sexual approaches in some cases
of satiety, and that in certain pathological cases the sexual act can only
be accomplished under the influence of music.

[121] Fere, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, p. 137. Bloch (_Beitraege_, etc., vol. ii,
p. 355) quotes some remarks of Kistemaecker's concerning the sound of
women's garments and the way in which savages and sometimes civilized
women cultivate this rustling and clinking. Gutzkow, in his
_Autobiography_, said that the _frou-frou_ of a woman's dress was the
music of the spheres to him.

[122] The voice is doubtless a factor of the first importance in sexual
attraction among the blind. On this point I have no data. The
expressiveness of the voice to the blind, and the extent to which their
likes and dislikes are founded on vocal qualities, is well shown by an
interesting paper written by an American physician, blind from early
infancy, James Cocke, "The Voice as an Index to the Soul," _Arena_,
January, 1894.

[123] Long before Darwin had set forth his theory of sexual selection
Laycock had pointed out the influence which the voice of the male, among
man and other animals, exerts on the female (_Nervous Diseases of Women_,
p. 74). And a few years later the writer of a suggestive article on "Woman
in her Psychological Relations" (_Journal of Psychological Medicine_,
1851) remarked: "The sonorous voice of the male man is exactly analogous
in its effect on woman to the neigh and bellow of other animals. This
voice will have its effect on an amorous or susceptible organization much
in the same way as color and the other visual ovarian stimuli." The writer
adds that it exercises a still more important influence when modulated to
music: "in this respect man has something in common with insects as well
as birds."

[124] Groos refers more than once to the important part played in German
novels written by women by what one of them terms the "bearded male

[125] Various instances are quoted in the third volume of these _Studies_
when discussing the general phenomena of courtship and tumescence, "An
Analysis of the Sexual Impulse."

[126] _The Tasmanians_, p. 20.

[127] An early reference to the sexual influence of music on women may
perhaps be found in a playful passage in Swift's _Martinus Scriblerus_
(possibly due to his medical collaborator, Arbuthnot): "Does not AElian
tell how the Libyan mares were excited to horsing by music? (which ought
to be a caution to modest women against frequenting operas)." _Memoirs of
Martinus Scriblerus_, Book I, Chapter 6. (The reference is to AElian,
_Hist. Animal_, lib. XI, cap. 18, and lib. XII, cap. 44.)

[128] E. Lancaster, "Psychology of Adolescence," _Pedagogical Seminary_,
July, 1897.


Summary--Why the Influence of Music in Human Sexual Selection is
Comparatively Small.

We have seen that it is possible to set forth in a brief space the facts
at present available concerning the influence on the pairing impulse of
stimuli acting through the ear. They are fairly simple and uncomplicated;
they suggest few obscure problems which call for analysis; they do not
bring before us any remarkable perversions of feeling.

At the same time, the stimuli to sexual excitement received through the
sense of hearing, although very seldom of exclusive or preponderant
influence, are yet somewhat more important than is usually believed.
Primarily the voice, and secondarily instrumental music, exert a distinct
effect in this direction, an effect representing a specialization of a
generally stimulating physiological influence which all musical sounds
exercise upon the organism. There is, however, in this respect, a definite
difference between the sexes. It is comparatively rare to find that the
voice or instrumental music, however powerful its generally emotional
influence, has any specifically sexual effect on men. On the other hand,
it seems probable that the majority of women, at all events among the
educated classes, are liable to show some degree of sexual sensibility to
the male voice or to instrumental music.

It is not surprising to find that music should have some share in arousing
sexual emotion when we bear in mind that in the majority of persons the
development of sexual life is accompanied by a period of special interest
in music. It is not unexpected that the specifically sexual effects of the
voice and music should be chiefly experienced by women when we remember
that not only in the human species is it the male in whom the larynx and
voice are chiefly modified at puberty, but that among mammals generally it
is the male who is chiefly or exclusively vocal at the period of sexual
activity; so that any sexual sensibility to vocal manifestations must be
chiefly or exclusively manifested in female mammals.

At the best, however, although aesthetic sensibility to sound is highly
developed and emotional sensibility to it profound and widespread,
although women may be thrilled by the masculine voice and men charmed by
the feminine voice, it cannot be claimed that in the human species hearing
is a powerful factor in mating. This sense has here suffered between the
lower senses of touch and smell, on the one hand, with their vague and
massive appeal, and the higher sense, vision, on the other hand, with its
exceedingly specialized appeal. The position of touch as the primary and
fundamental sense is assured. Smell, though in normal persons it has no
decisive influence on sexual attraction, acts by virtue of its emotional
sympathies and antipathies, while, by virtue of the fact that among man's
ancestors it was the fundamental channel of sexual sensibility, it
furnishes a latent reservoir of impressions to which nervously abnormal
persons, and even normal persons under the influence of excitement or of
fatigue, are always liable to become sensitive. Hearing, as a sense for
receiving distant perceptions has a wider field than is in man possessed
by either touch or smell. But here it comes into competition with vision,
and vision is, in man, the supreme and dominant sense.[129] We are always
more affected by what we see than by what we hear. Men and women seldom
hear each other without speedily seeing each other, and then the chief
focus of interest is at once transferred to the visual centre.[130] In
human sexual selection, therefore, hearing plays a part which is nearly
always subordinated to that of vision.


[129] Nietzsche has even suggested that among primitive men delicacy of
hearing and the evolution of music can only have been produced under
conditions which made it difficult for vision to come into play: "The ear,
the organ of fear, could only have developed, as it has, in the night and
in the twilight of dark woods and caves.... In the brightness the ear is
less necessary. Hence the character of music as an art of night and
twilight." (_Morgenroethe_, p. 230.)

[130] At a concert most people are instinctively anxious to _see_ the
performers, thus distracting the purely musical impression, and the
reasonable suggestion of Goethe that the performers should be invisible is
still seldom carried into practice.



Primacy of Vision in Man--Beauty as a Sexual Allurement--The Objective
Element in Beauty--Ideals of Feminine Beauty in Various Parts of the
World--Savage Women sometimes Beautiful from European Point of
View--Savages often Admire European Beauty--The Appeal of Beauty to some
Extent Common even to Animals and Man.

Vision is the main channel by which man receives his impressions. To a
large extent it has slowly superseded all the other senses. Its range is
practically infinite; it brings before us remote worlds, it enables us to
understand the minute details of our own structure. While apt for the most
abstract or the most intimate uses, its intermediate range is of universal
service. It furnishes the basis on which a number of arts make their
appeal to us, and, while thus the most aesthetic of the senses, it is the
sense on which we chiefly rely in exercising the animal function of
nutrition. It is not surprising, therefore, that from the point of view of
sexual selection vision should be the supreme sense, and that the
love-thoughts of men have always been a perpetual meditation of beauty.

It would be out of place here to discuss comparatively the origins of our
ideas of beauty. That is a question which belongs to aesthetics, not to
sexual psychology, and it is a question on which aestheticians are not
altogether in agreement. We need not even be concerned to make any
definite assertion on the question whether our ideas of sexual beauty have
developed under the influence of more general and fundamental laws, or
whether sexual ideals themselves underlie our more general conceptions of
beauty. Practically, so far as man and his immediate ancestors are
concerned, the sexual and the extra-sexual factors of beauty have been
interwoven from the first. The sexually beautiful object must have
appealed to fundamental physiological aptitudes of reaction; the
generally beautiful object must have shared in the thrill which the
specifically sexual object imparted. There has been an inevitable action
and reaction throughout. Just as we found that the sexual and the
non-sexual influences of agreeable odors throughout nature are
inextricably mingled, so it is with the motives that make an object
beautiful to our eyes.[131]

    The sexual element in the constitution of beauty is well
    recognized even by those writers who concern themselves
    exclusively with the aesthetic conception of beauty or with its
    relation to culture. It is enough to quote two or three
    testimonies on this point. "The whole sentimental side of our
    aesthetic sensibility," remarks Santayana, "--without which it
    would be perceptive and mathematical rather than aesthetic,--is
    due to our sexual organization remotely stirred.... If anyone
    were desirous to produce a being with a great susceptibility to
    beauty, he could not invent an instrument better designed for
    that object than sex. Individuals that need not unite for the
    birth and rearing of each generation might retain a savage
    independence. For them it would not be necessary that any vision
    should fascinate, or that any languor should soften, the prying
    cruelty of the eye. But sex endows the individual with a dumb and
    powerful instinct, which carries his body and soul continually
    toward another; makes it one of the dearest enjoyments of his
    life to select and pursue a companion, and joins to possession
    the keenest pleasure, to rivalry the fiercest rage, and to
    solitude an eternal melancholy. What more could be needed to
    suffuse the world with the deepest meaning and beauty? The
    attention is fixed upon a well-defined object, and all the
    effects it produces in the mind are easily regarded as powers or
    qualities of that object.... To a certain extent this kind of
    interest will center in the proper object of sexual passion, and
    in the special characteristics of the opposite sex[131]; and we
    find, accordingly, that woman is the most lovely object to man,
    and man, if female modesty would confess it, the most interesting
    to woman. But the effects of so fundamental and primitive a
    reaction are much more general. Sex is not the only object of
    sexual passion. When love lacks its specific object, when it does
    not yet understand itself, or has been sacrificed to some other
    interest, we see the stifled fire bursting out in various
    directions.... Passion then overflows and visibly floods those
    neighboring regions which it had always secretly watered. For the
    same nervous organization which sex involves, with its
    necessarily wide branchings and associations in the brain, must
    be partially stimulated by other objects than its specific or
    ultimate one; especially in man, who, unlike some of the lower
    animals, has not his instincts clearly distinct and intermittent,
    but always partially active, and never active in isolation. We
    may say, then, that for man all nature is a secondary object of
    sexual passion, and that to this fact the beauty of nature is
    largely due." (G. Santayana, _The Sense of Beauty_, pp. 59-62.)

    Not only is the general fact of sexual attraction an essential
    element of aesthetic contemplation, as Santayana remarks, but we
    have to recognize also that specific sexual emotion properly
    comes within the aesthetic field. It is quite erroneous, as Groos
    well points out, to assert that sexual emotion has no aesthetic
    value. On the contrary, it has quite as much value as the emotion
    of terror or of pity. Such emotion, must, however, be duly
    subordinated to the total aesthetic effect. (K. Groos, _Der
    AEsthetische Genuss_, p. 151.)

    "The idea of beauty," Remy de Gourmont says, "is not an unmixed
    idea; it is intimately united with the idea of carnal pleasure.
    Stendhal obscurely perceived this when he defined beauty as 'a
    promise of happiness.' Beauty is a woman, and women themselves
    have carried docility to men so far as to accept this aphorism
    which they can only understand in extreme sexual perversion....
    Beauty is so sexual that the only uncontested works of art are
    those that simply show the human body in its nudity. By its
    perseverance in remaining purely sexual Greek statuary has placed
    itself forever above all discussion. It is beautiful because it
    is a beautiful human body, such a one as every man or every woman
    would desire to unite with in the perpetuation of the race....
    That which inclines to love seems beautiful; that which seems
    beautiful inclines to love. This intimate union of art and of
    love is, indeed, the only explanation of art. Without this
    genital echo art would never have been born and never have been
    perpetuated. There is nothing useless in these deep human depths;
    everything which has endured is necessary. Art is the accomplice
    of love. When love is taken away there is no art; when art is
    taken away love is nothing but a physiological need." (Remy de
    Gourmont, _Culture des Idees_, 1900, p. 103, and _Mercure de
    France_, August, 1901, pp. 298 et seq.)

    Beauty as incarnated in the feminine body has to some extent
    become the symbol of love even for women. Colin Scott finds that
    it is common among women who are not inverted for female beauty
    whether on the stage or in art to arouse sexual emotion to a
    greater extent than male beauty, and this is confirmed by some of
    the histories I have recorded in the Appendix to the third
    volume of these _Studies_. Scott considers that female beauty has
    come to be regarded as typical of ideal beauty, and thus tends to
    produce an emotional effect on both sexes alike. It is certainly
    rare to find any aesthetic admiration of men among women, except
    in the case of women who have had some training in art. In this
    matter it would seem that woman passively accepts the ideals of
    man. "Objects which excite a man's desire," Colin Scott remarks,
    "are often, if not generally, the same as those affecting woman.
    The female body has a sexually stimulating effect upon both
    sexes. Statues of female forms are more liable than those of male
    form to have a stimulating effect upon women as well as men. The
    evidence of numerous literary expressions seems to show that
    under the influence of sexual excitement a woman regards her body
    as made for man's gratification, and that it is this complex
    emotion which forms the initial stage, at least, of her own
    pleasure. Her body is the symbol for her partner, and indirectly
    for her, through his admiration of it, of their mutual joy and
    satisfaction." (Colin Scott, "Sex and Art," _American Journal of
    Psychology_, vol. vii, No. 2, p. 206; also private letter.)

    At the same time it must be remembered that beauty and the
    conception of beauty have developed on a wider basis than that of
    the sexual impulse only, and also that our conceptions of the
    beautiful, even as concerns the human form, are to some extent
    objective, and may thus be in part reduced to law. Stratz, in his
    books on feminine beauty, and notably in _Die Schoenheit des
    Weiblichen Koerpers_, insists on the objective element in beauty.
    Papillault, again, when discussing the laws of growth and the
    beauty of the face, argues that beauty of line in the face is
    objective, and not a creation of fancy, since it is associated
    with the highest human functions, moral and social. He remarks on
    the contrast between the prehistoric man of
    Chancelade,--delicately made, with elegant face and high
    forehead,--who created the great Magdalenian civilization, and
    his seemingly much more powerful, but less beautiful,
    predecessor, the man of Spy, with enormous muscles and powerful
    jaws. (_Bulletin de la Societe d'Anthropologie_, 1899, p. 220.)

    The largely objective character of beauty is further indicated by
    the fact that to a considerable extent beauty is the expression
    of health. A well and harmoniously developed body, tense muscles,
    an elastic and finely toned skin, bright eyes, grace and
    animation of carriage--all these things which are essential to
    beauty are the conditions of health. It has not been demonstrated
    that there is any correlation between beauty and longevity, and
    the proof would not be easy to give, but it is quite probable
    that such a correlation may exist, and various indications point
    in this direction. One of the most delightful of Opie's pictures
    is the portrait of Pleasance Reeve (afterward Lady Smith) at the
    age of 17. This singularly beautiful and animated brunette lived
    to the age of 104. Most people are probably acquainted with
    similar, if less marked, cases of the same tendency.

The extreme sexual importance of beauty, so far, at all events, as
conscious experience is concerned is well illustrated by the fact that,
although three other senses may and often do play a not inconsiderable
part in the constitution of a person's sexual attractiveness,--the tactile
element being, indeed, fundamental,--yet in nearly all the most elaborate
descriptions of attractive individuals it is the visible elements that are
in most cases chiefly emphasized. Whether among the lowest savages or in
the highest civilization, the poet and story-teller who seeks to describe
an ideally lovely and desirable woman always insists mainly, and often
exclusively, on those characters which appeal to the eye. The richly laden
word _beauty_ is a synthesis of complex impressions obtained through a
single sense, and so simple, comparatively, and vague are the impressions
derived from the other senses that none of them can furnish us with any
corresponding word.

    Before attempting to analyze the conception of beauty, regarded
    in its sexual appeal to the human mind, it may be well to bring
    together a few fairly typical descriptions of a beautiful woman
    as she appears to the men of various nations.

    In an Australian folklore story taken down from the lips of a
    native some sixty years ago by W. Dunlop (but evidently not in
    the native's exact words) we find this description of an
    Australian beauty: "A man took as his wife a beautiful girl who
    had long, glossy hair hanging around her face and down her
    shoulders, which were plump and round. Her face was adorned with
    red clay and her person wrapped in a fine large opossum rug
    fastened by a pin formed from the small bone of the kangaroo's
    leg, and also by a string attached to a wallet made of rushes
    neatly plaited of small strips skinned from their outside after
    they had been for some time exposed to the heat of the fire;
    which being thrown on her back, the string passing under one arm
    and across her breast, held the soft rug in a fanciful position
    of considerable elegance; and she knew well how to show to
    advantage her queenlike figure when she walked with her polished
    yam stick held in one of her small hands and her little feet
    appearing below the edge of the rug" (W. Dunlop, "Australian
    Folklore Stories," _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_,
    August and November, 1898, p. 27).

    A Malay description of female beauty is furnished by Skeat. "The
    brow (of the Malay Helen for whose sake a thousand desperate
    battles are fought in Malay romances) is like the one-day-old
    moon; her eyebrows resemble 'pictured clouds,' and are 'arched
    like the fighting-cock's (artificial) spur'; her cheek resembles
    the 'sliced-off cheek of a mango'; her nose, 'an opening jasmine
    bud'; her hair, the 'wavy blossom shoots of the areca-palm';
    slender is her neck, 'with a triple row of dimples'; her bosom
    ripening, her waist 'lissom as the stalk of a flower,' her head;
    'of a perfect oval' (literally, bird's-egg shaped), her fingers
    like the leafy 'spears of lemon-grass' or the 'quills of the
    porcupine,' her eyes 'like the splendor of the planet Venus,' and
    her lips 'like the fissure of a pomegranate.'" (W.W. Skeat,
    _Malay Magic_, 1900, p. 363.)

    In Mitford's _Tales of Old Japan_ (vol. i, p. 215) a "peerlessly
    beautiful girl of 16" is thus described: "She was neither too fat
    nor too thin, neither too tall nor too short; her face was oval,
    like a melon-seed, and her complexion fair and white;; her eyes
    were narrow and bright, her teeth small and even; her nose was
    aquiline, and her mouth delicately formed, with lovely red lips;
    her eyebrows were long and fine; she had a profusion of long
    black hair; she spoke modestly, with a soft, sweet voice, and
    when she smiled, two lovely dimples appeared in her cheeks; in
    all her movements she was gentle and refined." The Japanese belle
    of ancient times, Dr. Nagayo Sensai remarks (_Lancet_, February
    15, 1890) had a white face, a long, slender throat and neck, a
    narrow chest, small thighs, and small feet and hands. Baelz, also,
    has emphasized the ethereal character of the Japanese ideal of
    feminine beauty, delicate, pale and slender, almost uncanny; and
    Stratz, in his interesting book, _Die Koerperformen in Kunst und
    Leben der Japaner_ (second edition, 1904), has dealt fully with
    the subject of Japanese beauty.

    The Singalese are great connoisseurs of beauty, and a Kandyan
    deeply learned in the matter gave Dr. Davy the following
    enumeration of a woman's points of beauty: "Her hair should be
    voluminous, like the tail of the peacock, long, reaching to her
    knees, and terminating in graceful curls; her eyebrows should
    resemble the rainbow, her eyes, the blue sapphire and the petals
    of the blue manilla-flower. Her nose should be like the bill of
    the hawk; her lips should be bright and red, like coral or the
    young leaf of the iron-tree. Her teeth should be small, regular,
    and closely set, and like jessamine buds. Her neck should be
    large and round, resembling the berrigodea. Her chest should be
    capacious; her breasts, firm and conical, like the yellow
    cocoa-nut, and her waist small--almost small enough to be clasped
    by the hand. Her hips should be wide; her limbs tapering; the
    soles of her feet, without any hollow, and the surface of her
    body in general soft, delicate, smooth, and rounded, without the
    asperities of projecting bones and sinews." (J. Davy, _An
    Account of the Interior of Ceylon_, 1821, p. 110.)

    The "Padmini," or lotus-woman, is described by Hindu writers as
    the type of most perfect feminine beauty. "She in whom the
    following signs and symptoms appear is called a _Padmini_: Her
    face is pleasing as the full moon; her body, well clothed with
    flesh, is as soft as the Shiras or mustard flower; her skin is
    fine, tender, and fair as the yellow lotus, never dark colored.
    Her eyes are bright and beautiful as the orbs of the fawn, well
    cut, and with reddish corners. Her bosom is hard, full, and high;
    she; has a good neck; her nose is straight and lovely; and three
    folds or wrinkles cross her middle--about the umbilical region.
    Her _yoni_ [vulva] resembles the opening lotus bud, and her
    love-seed is perfumed like the lily that has newly burst. She
    walks with swanlike [more exactly, flamingolike] gait, and her
    voice is low and musical as the note of the Kokila bird [the
    Indian cuckoo]; she delights in white raiment, in fine jewels,
    and in rich dresses. She eats little, sleeps lightly, and being
    as respectful and religious as she is clever and courteous, she
    is ever anxious to worship the gods and to enjoy the conversation
    of Brahmans. Such, then, is the Padmini, or lotus-woman." (_The
    Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana_, 1883, p. 11.)

    The Hebrew ideal of feminine beauty is set forth in various
    passages of the _Song of Songs_. The poem is familiar, and it
    will suffice to quote one  passage:--

         "How beautiful are thy feet in sandals, O prince's daughter!
         Thy rounded thighs are like jewels,
         The work of the hands of a cunning workman.
         Thy navel is like a rounded goblet
         Wherein no mingled wine is wanting;
         Thy belly is like a heap of wheat
         Set about with lilies.
         Thy two breasts are like two fawns
         They are twins of a roe.
         Thy neck is like the tower of ivory;
         Thine eyes as the pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim;
         Thy nose is like the tower of Lebanon
         That looketh toward Damascus.
         Thine head upon thee is like Carmel
         And the hair of thine head like purple;
         The king is held captive in the tresses thereof.
         This thy stature is like to a palm-tree,
         And thy breasts to clusters of grapes,
         And the smell of thy breath like apples,
         And thy mouth like the best wine."

    And the man is thus described in the same poem:--

         "My beloved is fair and ruddy,
         The chiefest among ten thousand.
         His head as the most fine gold,
         His locks are bushy (or curling), and black as a raven.
         His eyes are like doves beside the water-brooks,
         Washed with milk and fitly set.
         His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as banks of sweet herbs;
         His lips are as lilies, dropping liquid myrrh.
         His hands are as rings of gold, set with beryl;
         His body is as ivory work, overlaid with sapphires.
         His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold.
         His aspect is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
         His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is altogether lovely."

    "The maiden whose loveliness inspires the most impassioned
    expressions in Arabic poetry," Lane states, "is celebrated for
    her slender figure: She is like the cane among plants, and is
    elegant as a twig of the oriental willow. Her face is like the
    full moon, presenting the strongest contrast to the color of her
    hair, which is of the deepest hue of night, and falls to the
    middle of her back (Arab ladies are extremely fond of full and
    long hair). A rosy blush overspreads the center of each cheek;
    and a mole is considered an additional charm. The Arabs, indeed,
    are particularly extravagant in their admiration of this natural
    beauty spot, which, according to its place, is compared to a drop
    of ambergris upon a dish of alabaster or upon the surface of a
    ruby. The eyes of the Arab beauty are intensely black,[132]
    large, and long, of the form of an almond: they are full of
    brilliancy; but this is softened by long silken lashes, giving a
    tender and languid expression that is full of enchantment and
    scarcely to be improved by the adventitious aid of the black
    border of kohl; for this the lovely maiden adds rather for the
    sake of fashion than necessity, having what the Arabs term
    natural kohl. The eyebrows are thin and arched; the forehead is
    wide and fair as ivory; the nose straight; the mouth, small; the
    lips of a brilliant red; and the teeth, like pearls set in coral.
    The forms of the bosom are compared to two pomegranates; the
    waist is slender; the hips are wide and large; the feet and
    hands, small; the fingers, tapering, and their extremities dyed
    with the deep orange tint imparted by the leaves of the henna."

    Lane adds a more minute analysis from an unknown author quoted by
    El-Ishakee: "Four things in a woman should be _black_--the hair
    of the head, the eyebrows, the eyelashes, and the dark part of
    the eyes; four _white_--the complexion of the skin, the white of
    the eyes, the teeth, and the legs; four _red_--the tongue, the
    lips, the middle of the cheeks, and the gums; four _round_--the
    head, the neck, the forearms, and the ankles; four _long_--the
    back, the fingers, the arms, and the legs; four _wide_--the
    forehead, the eyes, the bosom, and the hips; four _fine_--the
    eyebrows, the nose, the lips, and the fingers; four _thick_--the
    lower part of the back, the thighs, the calves of the legs, and
    the knees; four _small_--the ears, the breasts, the hands, and
    the feet." (E.W. Lane, _Arabian Society in the Middle Ages_,
    1883, pp. 214-216.)

    A Persian treatise on the figurative terms relating to beauty
    shows that the hair should be black, abundant, and wavy, the
    eyebrows dark and arched. The eyelashes also must be dark, and
    like arrows from the bow of the eyebrows. There is, however, no
    insistence on the blackness of the eyes. We hear of four
    varieties of eye: the dark-gray eye (or narcissus eye); the
    narrow, elongated eye of Turkish beauties; the languishing, or
    love-intoxicated, eye; and the wine-colored eye. Much stress is
    laid on the quality of brilliancy. The face is sometimes
    described as brown, but more especially as white and rosy. There
    are many references to the down on the lips, which is described
    as greenish (sometimes bluish) and compared to herbage. This down
    and that on the cheeks and the stray hairs near the ears were
    regarded as very great beauties. A beauty spot on the chin,
    cheek, or elsewhere was also greatly admired, and evoked many
    poetic comparisons. The mouth must be very small. In stature a
    beautiful woman must be tall and erect, like the cypress or the
    maritime pine. While the Arabs admired the rosiness of the legs
    and thighs, the Persians insisted on white legs and compared them
    to silver and crystal. (_Anis El-Ochchaq_, by Shereef-Eddin Romi,
    translated by Huart, _Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes_,
    Paris, fasc. 25, 1875.)

    In the story of Kamaralzaman in the _Arabian Nights_ El-Sett
    Budur is thus described: "Her hair is so brown that it is blacker
    than the separation of friends. And when it is arrayed in three
    tresses that reach to her feet I seem to see three nights at

    "Her face is as white as the day on which friends meet again. If
    I look on it at the time of the full moon I see two moons at

    "Her cheeks are formed of an anemone divided into two corollas;
    they have the purple tinge of wine, and her nose is straighter
    and more delicate than the finest sword-blade.

    "Her lips are colored agate and coral; her tongue secretes
    eloquence; her saliva is more desirable than the juice of

    "But her bosom, blessed be the Creator, is a living seduction. It
    bears twin breasts of the purest ivory, rounded, and that may be
    held within the five fingers of one hand.

    "Her belly has dimples full of shade and arranged with the
    harmony of the Arabic characters on the seal of a Coptic scribe
    in Egypt. And the belly gives origin to her finely modeled and
    elastic waist.

    "At the thought of her flanks I shudder, for thence depends a
    mass so weighty that it obliges its owner to sit down when she
    has risen and to rise when she lies.

    "Such are her flanks, and from them descend, like white marble,
    her glorious thighs, solid and straight, united above beneath
    their crown. Then come the legs and the slender feet, so small
    that I am astounded they can bear so great a weight."

    An Egyptian stela in the Louvre sings the praise of a beautiful
    woman, a queen who died about 700 B.C., as follows: "The beloved
    before all women, the king's daughter who is sweet in love, the
    fairest among women, a maid whose like none has seen. Blacker is
    her hair than the darkness of night, blacker than the berries of
    the blackberry bush (?). Harder are her teeth (?) than the flints
    on the sickle. A wreath of flowers is each of her breasts, close
    nestling on her arms." Wiedemann, who quotes this, adds: "During
    the whole classic period of Egyptian history with few exceptions
    (such, for example, as the reign of that great innovator,
    Amenophis IV) the ideal alike for the male and the female body
    was a slender and but slightly developed form. Under the
    Ethiopian rule and during the Ptolemaic period in Egypt itself we
    find, for the first time, that the goddesses are represented with
    plump and well-developed outlines. Examination of the mummies
    shows that the earlier ideal was based upon actual facts, and
    that in ancient Egypt slender, sinewy forms distinguished both
    men and women. Intermarriage with other races and harem life may
    have combined in later times to alter the physical type, and with
    it to change also the ideal of beauty." (A. Wiedemann, _Popular
    Literature in Ancient Egypt_, p. 7.)

    Commenting on Plato's ideas of beauty in the _Banquet_
    Emeric-David gives references from Greek literature showing that
    the typical Greek beautiful woman must be tall, her body supple,
    her fingers long, her foot small and light, the eyes clear and
    moderately large, the eyebrows slightly arched and almost
    meeting, the nose straight and firm, nearly--but not
    quite--aquiline, the breath sweet as honey. (Emeric-David,
    _Recherches sur l'Art Statuaire_, new edition, 1863, p. 42.)

    At the end of classic antiquity, probably in the fifth century,
    Aristaenetus in his first Epistle thus described his mistress
    Lais: "Her cheeks are white, but mixed in imitation of the
    splendor of the rose; her lips are thin, by a narrow space
    separated from the cheeks, but more red; her eyebrows are black
    and divided in the middle; the nose straight and proportioned to
    the thin lips; the eyes large and bright, with very black pupils,
    surrounded by the clearest white, each color more brilliant by
    contrast. Her hair is naturally curled, and, as Homer's saying
    is, like the hyacinth. The neck is white and proportioned to the
    face, and though unadorned more conspicuous by its delicacy; but
    a necklace of gems encircles it, on which her name is written in
    jewels. She is tall and elegantly dressed in garments fitted to
    her body and limbs. When dressed her appearance is beautiful;
    when undressed she is all beauty. Her walk is composed and slow;
    she looks like a cypress or a palm stirred by the wind. I cannot
    describe how the swelling, symmetrical breasts raise the
    constraining vest, nor how delicate and supple her limbs are. And
    when she speaks, what sweetness in her discourse!"

    Renier has studied the feminine ideal of the Provencal poets, the
    troubadours who used the "langue d'oc." "They avoid any
    description of the feminine type. The indications refer in great
    part to the slender, erect, fresh appearance of the body, and to
    the white and rosy coloring. After the person generally, the eyes
    receive most praise; they are sweet, amorous, clear, smiling, and
    bright. The color is never mentioned. The mouth is laughing, and
    vermilion, and, smiling sweetly, it reveals the white teeth and
    calls for the delights of the kiss. The face is clear and fresh,
    the hand white and the hair constantly blonde. The troubadours
    seldom speak of the rest of the body. Peire Vidal is an
    exception, and his reference to the well-raised breasts may be
    placed beside a reference by Bertran de Born. The general
    impression conveyed by the love lyrics of the langue d'oc is one
    of great convention. There seemed to be no salvation outside
    certain phrases and epithets. The woman of Provence, sung by
    hundreds of poets, seems to have been composed all of milk and
    roses, a blonde Nuremburg doll." (R. Renier, _Il Tipo Estetico
    della Donna nel Medioevo_, 1885, pp. 1-24.)

    The conventional ideal of the troubadours is, again, thus
    described: "She is a lady whose skin is white as milk, whiter
    than the driven snow, of peculiar purity in whiteness. Her
    cheeks, on which vermilion hues alone appear, are like the
    rosebud in spring, when it has not yet opened to the full. Her
    hair, which is nearly always bedecked and adorned with flowers,
    is invariably of the color of flax, as soft as silk, and
    shimmering with a sheen of the finest gold." (J.F. Rowbotham,
    _The Troubadours and Courts of Love_, p. 228.)

    In the most ancient Spanish romances, Renier remarks, the
    definite indications of physical beauty are slight. The hair is
    "of pure gold," or simply fair (_rudios_, which is equal to
    _blondos_, a word of later introduction), the face white and
    rosy, the hand soft, white, and fragrant; in one place we find a
    reference to the uncovered breasts, whiter than crystal. But
    usually the ancient Castilian romances do not deal with these
    details. The poet contents himself with the statement that a lady
    is the sweetest woman in the world, "_la mas linda mujer del
    mundo_." (R. Renier, _Il Tipo Estetico della Donna nel Medioevo_,
    pp. 68 et seq.)

    In a detailed and well-documented thesis, Alwin Schultz describes
    the characteristics of the beautiful woman as she appealed to the
    German authors of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. She must
    be of medium height and slender. Her hair must be fair, like
    gold; long, bright, and curly; a man's must only reach to his
    shoulders. Dark hair is seldom mentioned and was not admired. The
    parting of the hair must be white, but not too broad. The
    forehead must be white and bright and rounded, without wrinkles.
    The eyebrows must be darker than the hair, arched, and not too
    broad, as though drawn with a pencil, the space between them not
    too broad. The eyes must be bright, clear, and sparkling, not too
    large or too small; nothing definite was said of the color, but
    they were evidently usually blue. The nose must be of medium
    size, straight, and not curved. The cheeks must be white, tinged
    with red; if the red was absent by nature women used rouge. The
    mouth must be small; the lips full and red. The teeth must be
    small, white, and even. The chin must be white, rounded, lovable,
    dimpled; the ears small and beautiful; the neck of medium size,
    soft, white, and spotless; the arm small; the hands and fingers
    long; the joints small, the nails white and bright and well cared
    for. The bosom must be white and large; the breasts high and
    rounded, like apples or pears, small and soft. The body generally
    must be slender and active. The lower parts of the body are very
    seldom mentioned, and many poets are even too modest to mention
    the breasts. The buttocks must be rounded, one poet, indeed,
    mentions, and the thighs soft and white, the _meinel_ (mons)
    brown. The legs must be straight and narrow, the calves full, the
    feet small and narrow, with high instep. The color of the skin
    generally must be clear and of a tempered rosiness. (A. Schultz,
    _Quid de Perfecta Corporis Humani Pulchritudine Germani Soeculi
    XII et XIII Senserint_, 1866.) A somewhat similar, but shorter,
    account is given by K. Weinhold (_Die Deutschen Frauen im
    Mittelalter_, 1882, bd. 1, pp. 219 et seq.). Weinhold considers
    that, like the French, the Germans admired the mixed eye, _vair_
    or gray.

    Adam de la Halle, the Artois _trouvere_ of the thirteenth
    century, in a piece ("Li Jus Adan ou de la feuillie") in which he
    brings himself forward, thus describes his mistress: "Her hair
    had the brilliance of gold, and was twisted into rebellious
    curls. Her forehead was very regular, white, and smooth; her
    eyebrows, delicate and even, were two brown arches, which seemed
    traced with a brush. Her eyes, bright and well cut, seemed to me
    _vairs_ and full of caresses; they were large beneath, and their
    lids like little sickles, adorned by twin folds, veiled or
    revealed at her will her loving gaze. Between her eyes descended
    the pipe of her nose, straight and beautiful, mobile when she was
    gay; on either side were her rounded, white cheeks, on which
    laughter impressed two dimples, and which one could see blushing
    beneath her veil. Beneath the nose opened a mouth with blossoming
    lips; this mouth, fresh and vermilion as a rose, revealed the
    white teeth, in regular array; beneath the chin sprang the white
    neck, descending full and round to the shoulder. The powerful
    nape, white and without any little wandering hairs, protruded a
    little over the dress. To her sloping shoulders were attached
    long arms, large or slender where they so should be. What shall I
    say of her white hands, with their long fingers, and knuckles
    without knots, delicately ending in rosy nails attached to the
    flesh by a clear and single line? I come to her bosom with its
    firm breasts, but short and high pointed, revealing the valley of
    love between them, to her round belly, her arched flanks. Her
    hips were flat, her legs round, her calf large; she had a slender
    ankle, a lean and arched foot. Such she was as I saw her, and
    that which her chemise hid was not of less worth." (Houdoy, _La
    Beaute des Femmes_, p. 125, who quotes the original of this
    passage, considers it the ideal model of the mediaeval woman.)

    In the twelfth century story of _Aucassin et Nicolette_,
    "Nicolette had fair hair, delicate and curling; her eyes were
    gray (_vairs_) and smiling; her face admirably modeled. Her nose
    was high and well placed; her lips small and more vermilion than
    the cherry or the rose in summer; her teeth were small and white;
    her firm little breasts raised her dress as would two walnuts.
    Her figure was so slender that you could inclose it with your two
    hands, and the flowers of the marguerite, which her toes broke as
    she walked with naked feet, seemed black in comparison with her
    feet and legs, so white was she."

    "Her hair was divided into a double tress," says Alain of Lille
    in the twelfth century, "which was long enough to kiss the
    ground; the parting, white as the lily and obliquely traced,
    separated the hair, and this want of symmetry, far from hurting
    her face, was one of the elements of her beauty. A golden comb
    maintained that abundant hair whose brilliance rivaled it, so
    that the fascinated eye could scarce distinguish the gold of the
    hair from the gold of the comb. The expanded forehead had the
    whiteness of milk, and rivaled the lily; her bright eyebrows
    shone like gold, not standing up in a brush, and, without being
    too scanty, orderly arranged. The eyes, serene and brilliant in
    their friendly light, seemed twin stars, her nostrils embalsamed
    with the odor of honey, neither too depressed in shape nor too
    prominent, were of distinguished form; the nard of her mouth
    offered to the smell a treat of sweet odors, and her half-open
    lips invited a kiss. The teeth seemed cut in ivory; her cheeks,
    like the carnation of the rose, gently illuminated her face and
    were tempered by the transparent whiteness of her veil. Her chin,
    more polished than crystal, showed silver reflections, and her
    slender neck fitly separated her head from the shoulders. The
    firm rotundity of her breasts attested the full expansion of
    youth; her charming arms, advancing toward you, seemed to call
    for caresses; the regular curve of her flanks, justly
    proportioned, completed her beauty. All the visible traits of her
    face and form thus sufficiently told what those charms must be
    that the bed alone knew." (The Latin text is given by Houdoy, _La
    Beaute des Femmes du XIIe au XVIe Siecle_, p. 119. Robert de
    Flagy's portrait of Blanchefleur in _Sarin-le-Loherain_, written
    in same century, reveals very similar traits.)

    "The young woman appeared with twenty brightly polished daggers
    and swords," we read in the Irish _Tain Bo Cuailgne_ of the
    Badhbh or Banshee who appeared to Meidhbh, "together with seven
    braids for the dead, of bright gold, in her right hand; a
    speckled garment of green ground, fastened by a bodkin at the
    breast under her fair, ruddy countenance, enveloped her form; her
    teeth were so new and bright that they appeared like pearls
    artistically set in her gums; like the ripe berry of the mountain
    ash were her lips; sweeter was her voice than the notes of the
    gentle harp-strings when touched by the most skillful fingers,
    and emitting the most enchanting melody; whiter than the snow of
    one night was her skin, and beautiful to behold were her
    garments, which reached to her well molded, bright-nailed feet;
    copious tresses of her tendriled, glossy, golden hair hung
    before, while others dangled behind and reached the calf of her
    leg." (_Ossianio Transactions_, vol. ii, p. 107.)

    An ancient Irish hero is thus described: "They saw a great hero
    approaching them; fairest of the heroes of the world; larger and
    taller than any man; bluer than ice his eye; redder than the
    fresh rowan berries his lips; whiter than showers of pearl his
    teeth; fairer than the snow of one night his skin; a protecting
    shield with a golden border was upon him, two battle-lances in
    his hands; a sword with knobs of ivory [teeth of the sea-horse],
    and ornamented with gold, at his side; he had no other
    accoutrements of a hero besides these; he had golden hair on his
    head, and had a fair, ruddy countenance." (_The Banquet of Dun na
    n-gedh_, translated by O'Donovan, _Irish Archaeological Society_,

    The feminine ideal of the Italian poets closely resembles that of
    those north of the Alps. Petrarch's Laura, as described in the
    _Canzoniere_, is white as snow; her eyes, indeed, are black, but
    the fairness of her hair is constantly emphasized; her lips are
    rosy; her teeth white; her cheeks rosy; her breast youthful; her
    hands white and slender. Other poets insist on the tall, white,
    delicate body; the golden or blonde hair; the bright or starry
    eyes (without mention of color), the brown or black arched
    eyebrows, the straight nose, the small mouth, the thin vermilion
    lips, the small and firm breasts. (Renier, _Il Tipo Estetico_,
    pp. 87 et seq.)

    Marie de France, a French mediaeval writer of the twelfth century,
    who spent a large part of her life in England, in the _Lai of
    Lanval_ thus described a beautiful woman: "Her body was
    beautiful, her hips low, the neck whiter than snow, the eyes gray
    (_vairs_), the face white, the mouth beautiful, the nose well
    placed, the eyebrows brown, the forehead beautiful, the head
    curly and blonde; the gleam of gold thread was less bright than
    her hair beneath the sun."

    The traits of Boccaccio's ideal of feminine beauty, a voluptuous
    ideal as compared with the ascetic mediaeval ideal which had
    previously prevailed, together with the characteristics of the
    very beautiful and almost classic garments in which he arrayed
    women, have been brought together by Hortis (_Studi sulle opere
    Latine del Boccaccio_, 1879, pp. 70 et seq.). Boccaccio admired
    fair and abundant wavy hair, dark and delicate eyebrows, and
    brown or even black eyes. It was not until some centuries later,
    as Hortis remarks, that Boccaccio's ideal woman was embodied by
    the painter in the canvases of Titian.

    The first precise description of a famous beautiful woman was
    written by Niphus in the sixteenth century in his _De Pulchro et
    Amore_, which is regarded as the first modern treatise on
    aesthetics. The lady described is Joan of Aragon, the greatest
    beauty of her time, whose portrait by Raphael (or more probably
    Giulio Romano) is in the Louvre. Niphus, who was the philosopher
    of the pontifical court and the friend of Leo X, thus describes
    this princess, whom, as a physician, he had opportunities of
    observing accurately: "She is of medium stature, straight, and
    elegant, and possesses the grace which can only be imparted by an
    assemblage of characteristics which are individually faultless.
    She is neither fat nor bony, but succulent; her complexion is not
    pale, but white tinged with rose; her long hair is golden; her
    ears are small and in proportion with the size of her mouth. Her
    brown eyebrows are semicircular, not too bushy, and the
    individual hairs short. Her eyes are blue (_oaesius_), brighter
    than stars, radiant with grace and gaiety beneath the dark-brown
    eyelashes, which are well spaced and not too long. The nose,
    symmetrical and of medium size, descends perpendicularly from
    between the eyebrows. The little valley separating the nose from
    the upper lip is divinely proportioned. The mouth, inclined to be
    rather small, is always stirred by a sweet smile; the rather
    thick lips are made of honey and coral. The teeth are small,
    polished as ivory, and symmetrically ranged, and the breath has
    the odor of the sweetest perfumes. Her voice is that of a
    goddess. The chin is divided by a dimple; the whole face
    approximates to a virile rotundity. The straight long neck, white
    and full, rises gracefully from the shoulders. On the ample
    bosom, revealing no indication of the bones, arise the rounded
    breasts, of equal and fitting size, and exhaling the perfume of
    the peaches they resemble. The rather plump hands, on the back
    like snow, on the palm like ivory, are exactly the length of the
    face; the full and rounded fingers are long and terminating in
    round, curved nails of soft color. The chest as a whole has the
    form of a pear, reversed, but a little compressed, and the base
    attached to the neck in a delightfully well-proportioned manner.
    The belly, the flanks, and the secret parts are worthy of the
    chest; the hips are large and rounded; the thighs, the legs, and
    the arms are in just proportion. The breadth of the shoulders is
    also in the most perfect relation to the dimensions of the other
    parts of the body; the feet, of medium length, terminate in
    beautifully arranged toes." (Houdoy reproduces this passage in
    _La Beaute des Femmes_; cf. also Stratz, _Die Schoenheit des
    Weiblichen Koerpers_, Chapter III.)

    Gabriel de Minut, who published in 1587 a treatise of no very
    great importance, _De la Beaute_, also wrote under the title of
    _La Paulegraphie_ a very elaborate description, covering sixty
    pages, of Paule de Viguier, a Gascon lady of good family and
    virtuous life living at Toulouse. Minut was her devoted admirer
    and addressed an affectionate poem to her just before his death.
    She was seventy years of age when he wrote the elaborate account
    of her beauty. She had blue eyes and fair hair, though belonging
    to one of the darkest parts of France.

    Ploss and Bartels (_Das Weib_, bd. 1, sec. 3) have independently
    brought together a number of passages from the writers of many
    countries describing their ideals of beauty. On this collection I
    have not drawn.

When we survey broadly the ideals of feminine beauty set down by the
peoples of many lands, it is interesting to note that they all contain
many features which appeal to the aesthetic taste of the modern European,
and many of them, indeed, contain no features which obviously clash with
his canons of taste. It may even be said that the ideals of some savages
affect us more sympathetically than some of the ideals of our own mediaeval
ancestors. As a matter of fact, European travelers in all parts of the
world have met with women who were gracious and pleasant to look on, and
not seldom even in the strict sense beautiful, from the standpoint of
European standards. Such individuals have been found even among those
races with the greatest notoriety for ugliness.

    Even among so primitive and remote a people as the Australians
    beauty in the European sense is sometimes found. "I have on two
    occasions," Lumholtz states, "seen what might be called beauties
    among the women of western Queensland. Their hands were small,
    their feet neat and well shaped, with so high an instep that one
    asked oneself involuntarily where in the world they had acquired
    this aristocratic mark of beauty. Their figure was above
    criticism, and their skin, as is usually the case among the young
    women, was as soft as velvet. When these black daughters of Eve
    smiled and showed their beautiful white teeth, and when their
    eyes peeped coquettishly from beneath the curly hair which hung
    in quite the modern fashion down their foreheads," Lumholtz
    realized that even here women could exert the influence ascribed
    by Goethe to women generally. (C. Lumholtz, _Among Cannibals_, p.
    132.) Much has, again, been written about the beauty of the
    American Indians. See, e.g., an article by Dr. Shufeldt, "Beauty
    from an Indian's Point of View," _Cosmopolitan Magazine_, April,
    1895. Among the Seminole Indians, especially, it is said that
    types of handsome and comely women are not uncommon. (_Clay_
    MacCauley, "Seminole Indians of Florida," _Fifth Annual Report of
    the Bureau of Ethnology_, 1883-1884, pp. 493 et seq.)

    There is much even in the negress which appeals to the European
    as beautiful. "I have met many negresses," remarks Castellani
    (_Les Femmes au Congo_, p. 2), "who could say proudly in the
    words of the Song of Songs, 'I am black, but comely.' Many of our
    peasant women have neither the same grace nor the same delicate
    skin as some natives of Cassai or Songha. As to color, I have
    seen on the African continent creatures of pale gold or even red
    copper whose fine and satiny skin rivals the most delicate white
    skins; one may, indeed, find beauties among women of the darkest
    ebony." He adds that, on the whole, there is no comparison with
    white women, and that the negress soon becomes hideous.

    The very numerous quotations from travelers concerning the women
    of all lands quoted by Ploss and Bartels (_Das Weib_, seventh
    edition, bd. i, pp. 88-106) amply suffice to show how frequently
    some degree of beauty is found even among the lowest human races.
    Cf., also, Mantegazza's survey of the women of different races
    from this point of view, _Fisiologia della Donna_, Cap. IV.

The fact that the modern European, whose culture may be supposed to have
made him especially sensitive to aesthetic beauty, is yet able to find
beauty among even the women of savage races serves to illustrate the
statement already made that, whatever modifying influences may have to be
admitted, beauty is to a large extent an objective matter. The existence
of this objective element in beauty is confirmed by the fact that it is
sometimes found that the men of the lower races admire European women more
than women of their own race. There is reason to believe that it is among
the more intelligent men of lower race--that is to say those whose
aesthetic feelings are more developed--that the admiration for white women
is most likely to be found.

    "Mr. Winwood Reade," stated Darwin, "who has had ample
    opportunities for observation, not only with the negroes of the
    West Coast of Africa, but with those of the interior who have
    never associated with Europeans, is convinced that their ideas of
    beauty are, _on the whole_, the same as ours; and Dr. Rohlfs
    writes to me to the same effect with respect to Bornu and the
    countries inhabited by the Pullo tribes. Mr. Reade found that he
    agreed with the negroes in their estimation of the beauty of the
    native girls; and that their appreciation of the beauty of
    European women corresponded with ours.... The Fuegians, as I have
    been informed by a missionary who long resided with them,
    considered European women as extremely beautiful ... I should add
    that a most experienced observer, Captain [Sir R.] Burton,
    believes that a woman whom we consider beautiful is admired
    throughout the world." (Darwin, _Descent of Man_, Chapter XIX.)

    Mantegazza quotes a conversation between a South American chief
    and an Argentine who had asked him which he preferred, the women
    of his own people or Christian women; the chief replied that he
    admired Christian women most, and when asked the reason said that
    they were whiter and taller, had finer hair and smoother skin.
    (Mantegazza, _Fisiologia della Donna_, Appendix to Cap. VIII.)

    Nordenskjoeld, as quoted by Ploss and Bartels, states that the
    Eskimo regard their own type as more ugly than that produced by
    crossing with white persons, and, according to Kropf, the Nosa
    Kaffers admire and seek the fairer half-castes in preference to
    their own women of pure race (Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_,
    seventh edition, bd. 1, p. 78). There is a widespread admiration
    for fairness, it may be added, among dark peoples. Fair men are
    admired by the Papuans at Torres Straits (_Reports of the
    Cambridge Anthropological Expedition_, vol. v, p. 327). The
    common use of powder among the women of dark-skinned peoples
    bears witness to the existence of the same ideal.

    Stratz, in his books _Die Schoenheit des Weiblichen Koerpers_ and
    _Die Rassenschoenheit des Weibes_, argues that the ideal of beauty
    is fundamentally the same throughout the world, and that the
    finest persons among the lower races admire and struggle to
    attain the type which is found commonly and in perfection among
    the white peoples of Europe. When in Japan he found that among
    the numerous photographs of Japanese beauties everywhere to be
    seen, his dragoman, a Japanese of low birth, selected as the most
    beautiful those which displayed markedly the Japanese type with
    narrow-slitted eyes and broad nose. When he sought the opinion of
    a Japanese photographer, who called himself an artist and had
    some claim to be so considered, the latter selected as most
    beautiful three Japanese girls who in Europe also would have been
    considered pretty. In Java, also, when selecting from a large
    number of Javanese girls a few suitable for photographing, Stratz
    was surprised to find that a Javanese doctor pointed out as most
    beautiful those which most closely corresponded to the European
    type. (Stratz, _Die Rassenschoenheit des Weibes_, fourth edition,
    1903, p. 3; id., _Die Koerperformen der Japaner_, 1904, p. 78.)

    Stratz reproduces (Rassenschoenheit, pp. 36 et seq.) a
    representation of Kwan-yin, the Chinese goddess of divine love,
    and quotes some remarks of Borel's concerning the wide deviation
    of the representations of the goddess, a type of gracious beauty,
    from the Chinese racial type. Stratz further reproduces the
    figure of a Buddhistic goddess from Java (now in the
    Archaeological Museum of Leyden) which represents a type of
    loveliness corresponding to the most refined and classic European

Not only is there a fundamentally objective element in beauty throughout
the human species, but it is probably a significant fact that we may find
a similar element throughout the whole animated world. The things that to
man are most beautiful throughout Nature are those that are intimately
associated with, or dependent upon, the sexual process and the sexual
instinct. This is the case in the plant world. It is so throughout most of
the animal world, and, as Professor Poulton, in referring to this often
unexplained and indeed unnoticed fact, remarks, "the song or plume which
excites the mating impulse in the hen is also in a high proportion of
cases most pleasing to man himself. And not only this, but in their past
history, so far as it has been traced (e.g., in the development of the
characteristic markings of the male peacock and argus pheasant), such
features have gradually become more and more pleasing to us as they have
acted as stronger and stronger stimuli to the hen."[133]


[131] "It is likely that all visible parts of the organism, even those
with a definite physiological meaning, appeal to the aesthetic sense of the
opposite sex," Poulton remarks, speaking primarily of insects, in words
that apply still more accurately to the human species. E. Poulton, _The
Colors of Animals_, 1890, p. 304.

[132] "The Arabs in general," Lane remarks, "entertain a prejudice against
blue eyes--a prejudice said to have arisen from the great number of
blue-eyed persons among certain of their northern enemies."

[133] _Nature_, April 14, 1898, p. 55.


Beauty to Some Extent Consists Primitively in an Exaggeration of the
Sexual Characters--The Sexual Organs--Mutilations, Adornments, and
Garments--Sexual Allurement the Original Object of Such
Devices--The Religious Element--Unaesthetic Character of the Sexual
Organs--Importance of the Secondary Sexual Characters--The Pelvis and
Hips--Steatopygia--Obesity--Gait--The Pregnant Woman as a Mediaeval Type of
Beauty--The Ideals of the Renaissance--The Breasts--The Corset--Its
Object--Its History--Hair--The Beard--The Element of National or Racial
Type in Beauty--The Relative Beauty of Blondes and Brunettes--The General
European Admiration for Blondes--The Individual Factors in the
Constitution of the Idea of Beauty--The Love of the Exotic.

In the constitution of our ideals of masculine and feminine beauty it was
inevitable that the sexual characters should from a very early period in
the history of man form an important element. From a primitive point of
view a sexually desirable and attractive person is one whose sexual
characters are either naturally prominent or artificially rendered so. The
beautiful woman is one endowed, as Chaucer expresses it,

    "With buttokes brode and brestes rounde and hye";

that is to say, she is the woman obviously best fitted to bear children
and to suckle them. These two physical characters, indeed, since they
represent aptitude for the two essential acts of motherhood, must
necessarily tend to be regarded as beautiful among all peoples and in all
stages of culture, even in high stages of civilization when more refined
and perverse ideals tend to find favor, and at Pompeii as a decoration on
the east side of the Purgatorium of the Temple of Isis we find a
representation of Perseus rescuing Andromeda, who is shown as a woman with
a very small head, small hands and feet, but with a fully developed body,
large breasts, and large projecting nates.[134]

To a certain extent--and, as we shall see, to a certain extent only--the
primary sexual characters are objects of admiration among primitive
peoples. In the primitive dances of many peoples, often of sexual
significance, the display of the sexual organs on the part of both men and
women is frequently a prominent feature. Even down to mediaeval times in
Europe the garments of men sometimes permitted the sexual organs to be
visible. In some parts of the world, also, the artificial enlargement of
the female sexual organs is practised, and thus enlarged they are
considered an important and attractive feature of beauty.

    Sir Andrew Smith informed Darwin that the elongated nymphae (or
    "Hottentot apron") found among the women of some South African
    tribes was formerly greatly admired by the men (_Descent of Man_,
    Chapter XIX). This formation is probably a natural peculiarity of
    the women of these races which is very much exaggerated by
    intentional manipulation due to the admiration it arouses. The
    missionary Merensky reported the prevalence of the practice of
    artificial elongation among the Basuto and other peoples, and the
    anatomical evidence is in favor of its partly artificial
    character. (The Hottentot apron is fully discussed by Ploss and
    Bartels, _Das Weib_, bd. I, sec. vi.)

    In the Jaboo country on the Bight of Benin in West Africa,
    Daniell stated, it was considered ornamental to elongate the
    labia and the clitoris artificially; small weights were appended
    to the clitoris and gradually increased. (W.F. Daniell,
    _Topography of Gulf of Guinea_, 1849, pp. 24, 53.)

    Among the Bawenda of the northern Transvaal, the missionary
    Wessmann states, it is customary for young girls from the age of
    8 to spend a certain amount of time every day in pulling the
    _labia majora_ in order to elongate them; in selecting a wife the
    young men attach much importance to this elongation, and the girl
    whose labia stand out most is most attractive. (_Zeitschrift fuer
    Ethnologie_, 1894, ht. 4, p. 363.)

    It may be added that in various parts of the world mutilations of
    the sexual organs of men and women, or operations upon them, are
    practiced, for reasons which are imperfectly known, since it
    usually happens that the people who practice them are unable to
    give the reason for this practice, or they assign a reason which
    is manifestly not that which originally prompted the practice.
    Thus, the excision of the clitoris, practiced in many parts of
    East Africa and frequently supposed to be for the sake of dulling
    sexual feeling (J.S. King _Journal of the Anthropological
    Society_, Bombay, 1890, p. 2), seems very doubtfully accounted
    for thus, for the women have it done of their own accord; "all
    Sobo women [Niger coast] have their clitoris cut off; unless they
    have this done they are looked down upon, as slave women who do
    not get cut; as soon, therefore, as a Sobo woman has collected
    enough money, she goes to an operating woman and pays her to do
    the cutting." (_Journal of the Anthropological Institute_,
    August-November, 1898, p. 117.) The Comte de Cardi investigated
    this matter in the Niger Delta: "I have questioned both native
    men and women," he states, "to try and get the natives' reason
    for this rite, but the almost universal answer to my queries was,
    'it is our country's fashion.'" One old man told him it was
    practiced because favorable to continence, and several old women
    said that once the women of the land used to suffer from a
    peculiar kind of madness which this rite reduced. (_Journal of
    the Anthropological Institute_, August-November, 1899, p. 59.) In
    the same way the subincision of the urethra (mika operation of
    Australia) is frequently supposed to be for the purpose of
    preventing conception (See, e.g., the description of the
    operation by J.G. Garson, _Medical Press_, February 21, 1894),
    but this is very doubtful, and E.C. Stirling found that
    subincised natives often had large families. (_Intercolonial
    Quarterly Journal of Medicine and Surgery_, 1894.)

    A passage in the _Mainz Chronicle_ for 1367 (as quoted by
    Schultz, _Das Hoefische Leben_, p. 297) shows that at that time
    the tunics of the men were so made that it was always possible
    for the sexual organs to be seen in walking or sitting.

This insistence on the naked sexual organs as objects of attraction is,
however, comparatively rare, and confined to peoples in a low state of
culture. Very much more widespread is the attempt to beautify and call
attention to the sexual organs by tattooing,[135] by adornment and by
striking peculiarities of clothing. The tendency for beauty of clothing to
be accepted as a substitute for beauty of body appears early in the
history of mankind, and, as we know, tends to be absolutely accepted in
civilization.[136] "We exclaim," as Goethe remarks, "'What a beautiful
little foot!' when we have merely seen a pretty shoe; we admire the lovely
waist when nothing has met out eyes but an elegant girdle." Our realities
and our traditional ideals are hopelessly at variance; the Greeks
represented their statues without pubic hair because in real life they had
adopted the oriental custom of removing the hairs; we compel our sculptors
and painters to make similar representations, though they no longer
correspond either to realities or to our own ideas of what is beautiful
and fitting in real life. Our artists are themselves equally ignorant and
confused, and, as Stratz has repeatedly shown, they constantly reproduce
in all innocence the deformations and pathological characters of defective
models. If we were honest, we should say--like the little boy before a
picture of the Judgment of Paris, in answer to his mother's question as to
which of the three goddesses he thought most beautiful--"I can't tell,
because they haven't their clothes on."

The concealment actually attained was not, however, it would appear,
originally sought. Various authors have brought together evidence to show
that the main primitive purpose of adornment and clothing among savages is
not to conceal the body, but to draw attention to it and to render it more
attractive. Westermarck, especially, brings forward numerous examples of
savage adornments which serve to attract attention to the sexual regions
of man and woman.[137] He further argues that the primitive object of
various savage peoples in practicing circumcision, as other similar
mutilations, is really to secure sexual attractiveness, whatever religious
significance they may sometimes have developed subsequently. A more recent
view represents the magical influence of both adornment and mutilation as
primary, as a method of guarding and insulating dangerous bodily
functions. Frazer, in _The Golden Bough_, is the most able and brilliant
champion of this view, which undoubtedly embodies a large element of
truth, although it must not be accepted to the absolute exclusion of the
influence of sexual attractiveness. The two are largely woven in

There is, indeed, a general tendency for the sexual functions to take on a
religious character and for the sexual organs to become sacred at a very
early period in culture. Generation, the reproductive force in man,
animals, and plants, was realized by primitive man to be a fact of the
first magnitude, and he symbolized it in the sexual organs of man and
woman, which thus attained to a solemnity which was entirely independent
of purposes of sexual allurement. Phallus worship may almost be said to be
a universal phenomenon; it is found even among races of high culture,
among the Romans of the Empire and the Japanese to-day; it has, indeed,
been thought by some that one of the origins of the cross is to be found
in the phallus.

    "Hardly any other object," remarks Dr. Richard Andree, "has been
    with such great unanimity represented by nearly all peoples as
    the phallus, the symbol of procreative force in the religions of
    the East and an object of veneration at public festivals. In the
    Moabitic Baal Peor, in the cult of Dionysos, everywhere, indeed,
    except in Persia, we meet with Priapic representations and the
    veneration accorded to the generative organ. It is needless to
    refer to the great significance of the _Linga puja_, the
    procreative organ of the god Siva, in India, a god to whom more
    temples were erected than to any other Indian deity. Our museums
    amply show how common phallic representations are in Africa, East
    Asia, the Pacific, frequently in connection with religious
    worship." (R. Andree, "Amerikansche Phallus-Darstellungen,"
    _Zeitschrift fuer Ethnologie_, 1895, ht. 6, p. 678.)

    Women have no external generative organ like the phallus to play
    a large part in life as a sacred symbol. There is, however, some
    reason to believe that the triangle is to some extent such a
    symbol. Lejeune ("La Representation Sexuelle en Religion, Art, et
    Pedagogie," _Bulletin de la Societe d'Anthropologie_, Paris,
    October 3, 1901) brings forward reasons in favor of the view that
    the triangular hair-covered region of the mons veneris has had
    considerable significance in this respect, and he presents
    various primitive figures in illustration.

Apart from the religions and magical properties so widely accorded to the
primary sexual characters, there are other reasons why they should not
often have gained or long retained any great importance as objects of
sexual allurement. They are unnecessary and inconvenient for this purpose.
The erect attitude of man gives them here, indeed, an advantage possessed
by very few animals, among whom it happens with extreme rarity that the
primary sexual characters are rendered attractive to the eye of the
opposite sex, though they often are to the sense of smell. The sexual
regions constitute a peculiarly vulnerable spot, and remain so even in
man, and the need for their protection which thus exists conflicts with
the prominent display required for a sexual allurement. This end is far
more effectively attained, with greater advantage and less disadvantage,
by concentrating the chief ensigns of sexual attractiveness on the upper
and more conspicuous parts of the body. This method is well-nigh universal
among animals as well as in man.

There is another reason why the sexual organs should be discarded as
objects of sexual allurement, a reason which always proves finally
decisive as a people advances in culture. They are not aesthetically
beautiful. It is fundamentally necessary that the intromittent organ of
the male and the receptive canal of the female should retain their
primitive characteristics; they cannot, therefore, be greatly modified by
sexual or natural selection, and the exceedingly primitive character they
are thus compelled to retain, however sexually desirable and attractive
they may become to the opposite sex under the influence of emotion, can
rarely be regarded as beautiful from the point of view of aesthetic
contemplation. Under the influence of art there is a tendency for the
sexual organs to be diminished in size, and in no civilized country has
the artist ever chosen to give an erect organ to his representations of
ideal masculine beauty. It is mainly because the unaesthetic character of a
woman's sexual region is almost imperceptible in any ordinary and normal
position of the nude body that the feminine form is a more aesthetically
beautiful object of contemplation than the masculine. Apart from this
character we are probably bound, from a strictly aesthetic point of view,
to regard the male form as more aesthetically beautiful.[139] The female
form, moreover, usually overpasses very swiftly the period of the climax
of its beauty, often only retaining it during a few weeks.

    The following communication from a correspondent well brings out
    the divergences of feeling in this matter:

    "You write that the sex organs, in an excited condition, cannot
    be called aesthetic. But I believe that they are a source, not
    only of curiosity and wonder to many persons, but also objects of
    admiration. I happen to know of one man, extremely intellectual
    and refined, who delights in lying between his mistress's thighs
    and gazing long at the dilated vagina. Also another man, married,
    and not intellectual, who always tenderly gazes at his wife's
    organs, in a strong light, before intercourse, and kisses her
    there and upon the abdomen. The wife, though amative, confessed
    to another woman that she could not understand the attraction. On
    the other hand, two married men have told me that the sight of
    their wives' genital parts would disgust them, and that they have
    never seen them.

    "If the sexual parts cannot be called aesthetic, they have still a
    strong charm for many passionate lovers, of both sexes, though
    not often, I believe, among the unimaginative and the uneducated,
    who are apt to ridicule the organs or to be repelled by them.
    Many women confess that they are revolted by the sight of even a
    husband's complete nudity, though they have no indifference for
    sexual embraces. I think that the stupid bungle of Nature in
    making the generative organs serve as means of relieving the
    bladder has much to do with this revulsion. But some women of
    erotic temperament find pleasure in looking at the penis of a
    husband or lover, in handling it, and kissing it. Prostitutes do
    this in the way of business; some chaste, passionate wives act
    thus voluntarily. This is scarcely morbid, as the mammalia of
    most species smell and lick each others' genitals. Probably
    primitive man did the same."

    Brantome (_Vie des Dames Galantes_, Discours II) has some remarks
    to much the same effect concerning the difference between men,
    some of whom take no pleasure in seeing the private parts of
    their wives or mistresses, while others admire them and delight
    to kiss them.

    I must add that, however natural or legitimate the attraction of
    the sexual parts may be to either sex, the question of their
    purely aesthetic beauty remains unaffected.

    Remy de Gourmont, in a discussion of the aesthetic element in
    sexual beauty, considers that the invisibility of the sexual
    organs is the decisive fact in rendering women more beautiful
    than men. "Sex, which is sometimes an advantage, is always a
    burden and always a flaw; it exists for the race and not for the
    individual. In the human male, and precisely because of his erect
    attitude, sex is the predominantly striking and visible fact, the
    point of attack in a struggle at close quarters, the point aimed
    at from a distance, an obstacle for the eye, whether regarded as
    a rugosity on the surface or as breaking the middle of a line.
    The harmony of the feminine body is thus geometrically much more
    perfect, especially when we consider the male and the female at
    the moment of desire when they present the most intense and
    natural expression of life. Then the woman, whose movements are
    all interior, or only visible by the undulation of her curves,
    preserves her full aesthetic value, while the man, as it were, all
    at once receding toward the primitive state of animality, seems
    to throw off all beauty and become reduced to the simple and
    naked condition of a genital organism." (Remy de Gourmont,
    _Physique de l'Amour_, p. 69.) Remy de Gourmont proceeds,
    however, to point out that man has his revenge after a woman has
    become pregnant, and that, moreover, the proportions of the
    masculine body are more beautiful than those of the feminine

The primary sexual characters of man and woman have thus never at any time
played a very large part in sexual allurement. With the growth of culture,
indeed, the very methods which had been adopted to call attention to the
sexual organs were by a further development retained for the purpose of
concealing them. From the first the secondary sexual characters have been
a far more widespread method of sexual allurement than the primary sexual
characters, and in the most civilized countries to-day they still
constitute the most attractive of such methods to the majority of the

    The main secondary sexual characters in woman and the type which
    they present in beautiful and well-developed persons are
    summarized as follows by Stratz, who in his book on the beauty of
    the body in woman sets forth the reasons for the characteristics
    here  given:--

        Delicate bony structure.
        Rounded forms and breasts.
        Broad pelvis.
        Long and abundant hair.
        Low and narrow boundary of pubic hair.
        Sparse hair in armpit.
        No hair on body.
        Delicate skin.
        Rounded skull.
        Small face.
        Large orbits.
        High and slender eyebrows.
        Low and small lower jaw.
        Soft transition from cheek to neck.
        Rounded neck.
        Slender wrist.
        Small hand, with long index finger.
        Rounded shoulders.
        Straight, small clavicle.
        Small and long thorax.
        Slender waist.
        Hollow sacrum.
        Prominent and domed nates.
        Sacral dimples.
        Rounded and thick thighs.
        Low and obtuse pubic arch.
        Soft contour of knee.
        Rounded calves.
        Slender ankle.
        Small toes.
        Long second and short fifth toe.
        Broad middle incisor teeth.

    (Stratz, _Die Schoenheit des Weiblichen Koerpers_, fourteenth
    edition, 1903, p. 200. This statement agrees at most points with
    my own exposition of the secondary sexual characters: _Man and
    Woman_, fourth edition, revised and enlarged, 1904.)

Thus we find, among most of the peoples of Europe, Asia, and Africa, the
chief continents of the world, that the large hips and buttocks of women
are commonly regarded as an important feature of beauty. This secondary
sexual character represents the most decided structural deviation of the
feminine type from the masculine, a deviation demanded by the reproductive
function of women, and in the admiration it arouses sexual selection is
thus working in a line with natural selection. It cannot be said that,
except in a very moderate degree, it has always been regarded as at the
same time in a line with claims of purely aesthetic beauty. The European
artist frequently seeks to attenuate rather than accentuate the
protuberant lines of the feminine hips, and it is noteworthy that the
Japanese also regard small hips as beautiful. Nearly everywhere else
large hips and buttocks are regarded as a mark of beauty, and the average
man is of this opinion even in the most aesthetic countries. The contrast
of this exuberance with the more closely knit male form, the force of
association, and the unquestionable fact that such development is the
condition needed for healthy motherhood, have served as a basis for an
ideal of sexual attractiveness which appeals to nearly all people more
strongly than a more narrowly aesthetic ideal, which must inevitably be
somewhat hermaphroditic in character.

Broad hips, which involve a large pelvis, are necessarily a characteristic
of the highest human races, because the races with the largest heads must
be endowed also with the largest pelvis to enable their large heads to
enter the world. The white race, according to Bacarisse, has the broadest
sacrum, the yellow race coming next, the black race last. The white race
is also stated to show the greatest curvature of the sacrum, the yellow
race next, while the black race has the flattest sacrum.[140] The black
race thus possesses the least developed pelvis, the narrowest, and the
flattest. It is certainly not an accidental coincidence that it is
precisely among people of black race that we find a simulation of the
large pelvis of the higher races admired and cultivated in the form of
steatopygia. This is an enormously exaggerated development of the
subcutaneous layer of fat which normally covers the buttocks and upper
parts of the thighs in woman, and in this extreme form constitutes a kind
of natural fatty tumor. Steatopygia cannot be said to exist, according to
Deniker, unless the projection of the buttocks exceeds 4 per cent of the
individual's height; it frequently equals 10 per cent. True steatopygia
only exists among Bushman and Hottentot women, and among the peoples who
are by blood connected with them. An unusual development of the buttocks
is, however, found among the Woloffs and many other African peoples.[141]
There can be no doubt that among the black peoples of Africa generally,
whether true steatopygia exists among them or not, extreme gluteal
development is regarded as a very important, if not the most important,
mark of beauty, and Burton stated that a Somali man was supposed to choose
his wife by ranging women in a row and selecting her who projected
farthest _a tergo_.[142] In Europe, it must be added, clothing enables
this feature of beauty to be simulated. Even by some African peoples the
posterior development has been made to appear still larger by the use of
cushions, and in England in the sixteenth century we find the same
practice well recognized, and the Elizabethan dramatists refer to the
"bum-roll," which in more recent times has become the bustle, devices
which bear witness to what Watts, the painter, called "the persistent
tendency to suggest that the most beautiful half of humanity is furnished
with tails."[143] In reality, as we see, it is simply a tendency, not to
simulate an animal character, but to emphasize the most human and the most
feminine of the secondary sexual characters, and therefore, from the
sexual point of view, a beautiful feature.[144]

Sometimes admiration for this characteristic is associated with admiration
for marked obesity generally, and it may be noted that a somewhat greater
degree of fatness may also be regarded as a feminine secondary sexual
character. This admiration is specially marked among several of the black
peoples of Africa, and here to become a beauty a woman must, by drinking
enormous quantities of milk, seek to become very fat. Sonnini noted that
to some extent the same thing might be found among the Mohammedan women of
Egypt. After bright eyes and a soft, polished, hairless skin, an Egyptian
woman, he stated, most desired to obtain _embonpoint_; men admired fat
women and women sought to become fat. "The idea of a very fat woman,"
Sonnini adds, "is nearly always accompanied in Europe by that of softness
of flesh, effacement of form, and defect of elasticity in the outlines. It
would be a mistake thus to represent the women of Turkey in general, where
all seek to become fat. It is certain that the women of the East, more
favored by Nature, preserve longer than others the firmness of the flesh,
and this precious property, joined to the freshness and whiteness of their
skin, renders them very agreeable. It must be added that in no part of the
world is cleanliness carried so far as by the women of the East."[145]

The special characteristics of the feminine hips and buttocks become
conspicuous in walking and may be further emphasized by the special method
of walking or carriage. The women of some southern countries are famous
for the beauty of their way of walk; "the goddess is revealed by her
walk," as Virgil said. In Spain, especially, among European countries, the
walk very notably gives expression to the hips and buttocks. The spine is
in Spain very curved, producing what is termed _ensellure_, or
saddle-back--a characteristic which gives great flexibility to the back
and prominence to the gluteal regions, sometimes slightly simulating
steatopygia. The vibratory movement naturally produced by walking and
sometimes artificially heightened thus becomes a trait of sexual beauty.
Outside of Europe such vibration of the flanks and buttocks is more
frankly displayed and cultivated as a sexual allurement. The Papuans are
said to admire this vibratory movement of the buttocks in their women.
Young girls are practiced in it by their mothers for hours at a time as
soon as they have reached the age of 7 or 8, and the Papuan maiden walks
thus whenever she is in the presence of men, subsiding into a simpler gait
when no men are present. In some parts of tropical Africa the women walk
in this fashion. It is also known to the Egyptians, and by the Arabs is
called _ghung_.[146] As Mantegazza remarks, the essentially feminine
character of this gait makes it a method of sexual allurement. It should
be observed that it rests on feminine anatomical characteristics, and that
the natural walk of a femininely developed woman is inevitably different
from that of a man.

    In an elaborate discussion of beauty of movement Stratz
    summarizes the special characters of the gait in woman as
    follows: "A woman's walk is chiefly distinguished from a man's by
    shorter steps, the more marked forward movement of the hips, the
    greater length of the phase of rest in relation to the phase of
    motion, and by the fact that the compensatory movements of the
    upper parts of the body are less powerfully supported by the
    action of the arms and more by the revolution of the flanks. A
    man's walk has a more pushing and active character, a woman's a
    more rolling and passive character; while a man seems to seek to
    catch his fleeing equilibrium, a woman seems to seek to preserve
    the equilibrium she has reached.... A woman's walk is beautiful
    when it shows the definitely feminine and rolling character, with
    the greatest predominance of the moment of extension over that of
    flexion." (Stratz, _Die Schoenheit des Weiblichen Koerpers_,
    fourteenth edition, p. 275.)

An occasional development of the idea of sexual beauty as associated with
developed hips is found in the tendency to regard the pregnant woman as
the most beautiful type. Stratz observes that a woman artist once remarked
to him that since motherhood is the final aim of woman, and a woman
reaches her full flowering period in pregnancy, she ought to be most
beautiful when pregnant. This is so, Stratz replied, if the period of her
full physical bloom chances to correspond with the early months of
pregnancy, for with the onset of pregnancy metabolism is heightened, the
tissues become active, the tone of the skin softer and brighter, the
breasts firmer, so that the charm of fullest bloom is increased until the
moment when the expansion of the womb begins to destroy the harmony of the
form. At one period of European culture, however,--at a moment and among a
people not very sensitive to the most exquisite aesthetic sensations,--the
ideal of beauty has even involved the character of advanced pregnancy. In
northern Europe during the centuries immediately preceding the Renaissance
the ideal of beauty, as we may see by the pictures of the time, was a
pregnant woman, with protuberant abdomen and body more or less extended
backward. This is notably apparent in the work of the Van Eycks: in the
Eve in the Brussels Gallery; in the wife of Arnolfini in the highly
finished portrait group in the National Gallery; even the virgins in the
great masterpiece of the Van Eycks in the Cathedral at Ghent assume the
type of the pregnant woman.

    "Through all the middle ages down to Duerer and Cranach," quite
    truly remarks Laura Marholm (as quoted by I. Bloch, _Beitraege zur
    AEtiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil I, p. 154), "we find a
    very peculiar type which has falsely been regarded as one of
    merely ascetic character. It represents quiet, peaceful, and
    cheerful faces, full of innocence; tall, slender, young figures;
    the shoulders still scanty; the breasts small, with slender legs
    beneath their garments; and round the upper part of the body
    clothing that is tight almost to the point of constriction. The
    waist comes just under the bosom, and from this point the broad
    skirts in folds give to the most feminine part of the feminine
    body full and absolutely unhampered power of movement and
    expansion. The womanly belly even in saints and virgins is very
    pronounced in the carriage of the body and clearly protuberant
    beneath the clothing. It is the maternal function, in sacred and
    profane figures alike, which marks the whole type--indeed, the
    whole conception--of woman." For a brief period this fashion
    reappeared in the eighteenth century, and women wore pads and
    other devices to increase the size of the abdomen.

With the Renaissance this ideal of beauty disappeared from art. But in
real life we still seem to trace its survival in the fashion for that
class of garments which involved an immense amount of expansion below the
waist and secured such expansion by the use of whalebone hoops and similar
devices. The Elizabethan farthingale was such a garment. This was
originally a Spanish invention, as indicated by the name (from
_verdugardo_, provided with hoops), and reached England through France. We
find the fashion at its most extreme point in the fashionable dress of
Spain in the seventeenth century, such as it has been immortalized by
Velasquez. In England hoops died out during the reign of George III but
were revived for a time, half a century later, in the Victorian

Only second to the pelvis and its integuments as a secondary sexual
character in woman we must place the breasts.[148] Among barbarous and
civilized peoples the beauty of the breast is usually highly esteemed.
Among Europeans, indeed, the importance of this region is so highly
esteemed that the general rule against the exposure of the body is in its
favor abrogated, and the breasts are the only portion of the body, in the
narrow sense, which a European lady in full dress is allowed more or less
to uncover. Moreover, at various periods and notably in the eighteenth
century, women naturally deficient in this respect have sometimes worn
artificial busts made of wax. Savages, also, sometimes show admiration for
this part of the body, and in the Papuan folk-tales, for instance, the
sole distinguishing mark of a beautiful woman is breasts that stand
up.[149] On the other hand, various savage peoples even appear to regard
the development of the breasts as ugly and adopt devices for flattening
this part of the body.[150] The feeling that prompts this practice is not
unknown in modern Europe, for the Bulgarians are said to regard developed
breasts as ugly; in mediaeval Europe, indeed, the general ideal of feminine
slenderness was opposed to developed breasts, and the garments tended to
compress them. But in a very high degree of civilization this feeling is
unknown, as, indeed, it is unknown to most barbarians, and the beauty of a
woman's breasts, and of any natural or artificial object which suggests
the gracious curves of the bosom, is a universal source of pleasure.

    The casual vision of a girl's breasts may, in the chastest youth,
    evoke a strange perturbation. (Cf., e.g., a passage in an early
    chapter of Marcelle Tinayre's _La Maison du Peche_.) We need not
    regard this feeling as of purely sexual origin; and in addition
    even to the aesthetic element it is probably founded to some
    extent on a reminiscence of the earliest associations of life.
    This element of early association was very well set forth long
    ago by Erasmus Darwin:--

    "When the babe, soon after it is born into this cold world, is
    applied to its mother's bosom, its sense of perceiving warmth is
    first agreeably affected; next its sense of smell is delighted
    with the odor of her milk; then its taste is gratified by the
    flavor of it; afterward the appetites of hunger and of thirst
    afford pleasure by the possession of their object, and by the
    subsequent digestion of the aliment; and, last, the sense of
    touch is delighted by the softness and smoothness of the milky
    fountain, the source of such variety of happiness.

    "All these various kinds of pleasure at length become associated
    with the form of the mother's breast, which the infant embraces
    with its hands, presses with its lips, and watches with its eyes;
    and thus acquires more accurate ideas of the form of its mother's
    bosom than of the odor, flavor, and warmth which it perceives by
    its other senses. And hence at our maturer years, when any object
    of vision is presented to us which by its wavy or spiral lines
    bears any similitude to the form of the female bosom, whether it
    be found in a landscape with soft gradations of raising and
    descending surface, or in the forms of some antique vases, or in
    other works of the pencil or the chisel, we feel a general glow
    of delight which seems to influence all our senses; and if the
    object be not too large we experience an attraction to embrace it
    with our lips as we did in our early infancy the bosom of our
    mothers." (E. Darwin, _Zooenomia_, 1800, vol. i, p. 174.)

The general admiration accorded to developed breasts and a developed
pelvis is evidenced by a practice which, as embodied in the corset, is all
but universal in many European countries, as well as the extra-European
countries inhabited by the white race, and in one form or another is by no
means unknown to peoples of other than the white race.

The tightening of the waist girth was little known to the Greeks of the
best period, but it was practiced by the Greeks of the decadence and by
them transmitted to the Romans; there are many references in Latin
literature to this practice, and the ancient physician wrote against it in
the same sense as modern doctors. So far as Christian Europe is concerned
it would appear that the corset arose to gratify an ideal of asceticism
rather than of sexual allurement. The bodice in early mediaeval days bound
and compressed the breasts and thus tended to efface the specifically
feminine character of a woman's body. Gradually, however, the bodice was
displaced downward, and its effect, ultimately, was to render the breasts
more prominent instead of effacing them. Not only does the corset render
the breasts more prominent; it has the further effect of displacing the
breathing activity of the lungs in an upward direction, the advantage from
the point of sexual allurement thus gained being that additional attention
is drawn to the bosom from the respiratory movement thus imparted to it.
So marked and so constant is this artificial respiratory effect, under the
influence of the waist compression habitual among civilized women, that
until recent years it was commonly supposed that there is a real and
fundamental difference in breathing between men and women, that women's
breathing is thoracic and men's abdominal. It is now known that under
natural and healthy conditions there is no such difference, but that men
and women breathe in a precisely identical manner. The corset may thus be
regarded as the chief instrument of sexual allurement which the armory of
costume supplies to a woman, for it furnishes her with a method of
heightening at once her two chief sexual secondary characters, the bosom
above, the hips and buttocks below. We cannot be surprised that all the
scientific evidence in the world of the evil of the corset is powerless
not merely to cause its abolition, but even to secure the general adoption
of its comparatively harmless modifications.

    Several books have been written on the history of the corset.
    Leoty (_Le Corset a travers les Ages_, 1893) accepts Bouvier's
    division of the phases through which the corset has passed: (1)
    the bands, or fasciae, of Greek and Roman ladies; (2) period of
    transition during greater part of middle ages, classic traditions
    still subsisting; (3) end of middle ages and beginning of
    Renaissance, when tight bodices were worn; (4) the period of
    whalebone bodices, from middle of sixteenth to end of eighteenth
    centuries; (5) the period of the modern corset. We hear of
    embroidered girdles in Homer. Even in Rome, however, the fasciae
    were not in general use, and were chiefly employed either to
    support the breasts or to compress their excessive development,
    and then called _mamillare_. The _zona_ was a girdle, worn
    usually round the hips, especially by young girls. The modern
    corset is a combination of the _fascia_ and the _zona_. It was at
    the end of the fourteenth century that Isabeau of Bavaria
    introduced the custom of showing the breasts uncovered, and the
    word "corset" was then used for the first time.

    Stratz, in his _Frauenkleidung_ (pp. 366 et seq.), and in his
    _Schoenheit des Weiblichen Koerpers_, Chapters VIII, X, and XVI,
    also deals with the corset, and illustrates the results of
    compression on the body. For a summary of the evidence concerning
    the difference of respiration in man and woman, its causes and
    results, see Havelock Ellis, _Man and Woman_, fourth edition,
    1904, pp. 228-244. With reference to the probable influence of
    the corset and unsuitable clothing generally during early life in
    impeding the development of the mammary glands, causing inability
    to suckle properly, and thus increasing infant mortality, see
    especially a paper by Professor Bollinger (_Correspondenz-blatt
    Deutsch. Gesell. Anthropologie_, October, 1899).

    The compression caused by the corset, it must be added, is not
    usually realized or known by those who wear it. Thus, Rushton
    Parker and Hugh Smith found, in two independent series of
    measurements, that the waist measurement was, on the average, two
    inches less over the corset than round the naked waist; "the
    great majority seemed quite unaware of the fact." In one case the
    difference was as much as five inches. (_British Medical
    Journal_, September 15 and 22, 1900.)

The breasts and the developed hips are characteristics of women and are
indications of functional effectiveness as well as sexual allurement.
Another prominent sexual character which belongs to man, and is not
obviously an index of function, is furnished by the hair on the face. The
beard may be regarded as purely a sexual adornment, and thus comparable to
the somewhat similar growth on the heads of many male animals. From this
point of view its history is interesting, for it illustrates the tendency
with increase of civilization not merely to dispense with sexual
allurement in the primary sexual organs, but even to disregard those
growths which would appear to have been developed solely to act as sexual
allurements. The cultivation of the beard belongs peculiarly to barbarous
races. Among these races it is frequently regarded as the most sacred and
beautiful part of the person, as an object to swear by, an object to which
the slightest insult must be treated as deadly. Holding such a position,
it must doubtless act as a sexual allurement. "Allah has specially created
an angel in Heaven," it is said in the _Arabian Nights_, "who has no other
occupation than to sing the praises of the Creator for giving a beard to
men and long hair to women." The sexual character of the beard and the
other hirsute appendage is significantly indicated by the fact that the
ascetic spirit in Christianity has always sought to minimize or to hide
the hair. Altogether apart, however, from this religious influence,
civilization tends to be opposed to the growth of hair on the masculine
face and especially to the beard. It is part of the well-marked tendency
with civilization to the abolition of sexual differences. We find this
general tendency among the Greeks and Romans, and, on the whole, with
certain variations and fluctuations of fashion, in modern Europe also.
Schopenhauer frequently referred to this disappearance of the beard as a
mark of civilization, "a barometer of culture."[151] The absence of facial
hair heightens aesthetic beauty of form, and is not felt to remove any
substantial sexual attraction.

    That even the Egyptians regarded the beard as a mark of beauty
    and an object of veneration is shown by the fact that the priests
    wore it long and cut it off in grief (Herodotus, _Euterpe_,
    Chapter XXXVI). The respect with which the beard was regarded
    among the ancient Hebrews is indicated in the narrative (II
    Samuel, Chapter X) which tells how, when David sent his servants
    to King Hanun the latter shaved off half their beards; they were
    too ashamed to return in this condition, and remained at Jericho
    until their beards had grown again. A passage in Ordericus
    Vitalis (_Ecclesiastical History_, Book VIII, Chapter X) is
    interesting both as regards the fashions of the twelfth century
    in England and Normandy and the feeling that prompted Ordericus.
    Speaking of the men of his time, he wrote: "The forepart of
    their head is bare after the manner of thieves, while at the back
    they nourish long hair like harlots. In former times penitents,
    captives and pilgrims usually went unshaved and wore long beards,
    as an outward mark of their penance or captivity or pilgrimage.
    Now almost all the world wear crisped hair and beards, carrying
    on their faces the token of their filthy lust like stinking
    goats. Their locks are curled with hot irons, and instead of
    wearing caps they bind their heads with fillets. A knight seldom
    appears in public with his head uncovered, and properly shaved,
    according to the apostolic precept (I Corinthians, Chapter XI,
    verses 7 and 14)."

We have seen that there is good reason for assuming a certain fundamental
tendency whereby the most various peoples of the world, at all events in
the person of their most intelligent members, recognize and accept a
common ideal of feminine beauty, so that to a certain extent beauty may be
said to have an objectively aesthetic basis. We have further found that
this aesthetic human ideal is modified, and very variously modified in
different countries and even in the same country at different periods, by
a tendency, prompted by a sexual impulse which is not necessarily in
harmony with aesthetic cannons, to emphasize, or even to repress, one or
other of the prominent secondary sexual characters of the body. We now
come to another tendency which is apt to an even greater extent to limit
the cultivation of the purely aesthetic ideal of beauty: the influences of
national or racial type.

To the average man of every race the woman who most completely embodies
the type of his race is usually the most beautiful, and even mutilations
and deformities often have their origin, as Humboldt long since pointed
out, in the effort to accentuate the racial type.[152] Eastern women
possess by nature large and conspicuous eyes, and this characteristic
they seek still further to heighten by art. The Ainu are the hairiest of
races, and there is nothing which they consider so beautiful as hair. It
is difficult to be sexually attracted to persons who are fundamentally
unlike ourselves in racial constitution.[153]

It frequently happens that this admiration for racial characteristics
leads to the idealization of features which are far removed from aesthetic
beauty. The firm and rounded breast is certainly a feature of beauty, but
among many of the black peoples of Africa the breasts fall at a very early
period, and here we sometimes find that the hanging breast is admired as

    The African Baganda, the Rev. J. Roscoe states (_Journal of the
    Anthropological Institute_, January-June, 1902, p. 72), admire
    hanging breasts to such an extent that their young women tie them
    down in order to hasten the arrival of this condition.

    "The most remarkable trait of beauty in the East," wrote Sonnini,
    "is to have large black eyes, and nature has made this a
    characteristic sign of the women of these countries. But, not
    content with this, the women of Egypt wish their eyes to be still
    larger and blacker. To attain this Mussulmans, Jewesses, and
    Christians, rich and poor, all tint their eyelids with galena.
    They also blacken the lashes (as Juvenal tells us the Roman
    ladies did) and mark the angles of the eye so that the fissure
    appears larger." (Sonnini, _Voyage dans la Haute et Basse
    Egypte_, 1799, vol. i, p. 290.) Kohl is thus only used by the
    women who have what the Arabs call "natural kohl." As Flinders
    Petrie has found, the women of the so-called "New Race," between
    the sixth and tenth dynasties of ancient Egypt, used galena and
    malachite for painting their faces. Jewish women in the days of
    the prophets painted their eyes with kohl, as do some Hindu women

    "The Ainu have a great affection for their beards. They regard
    them as a sign of manhood and strength and consider them as
    especially handsome. They look upon them, indeed, as a great and
    highly prized treasure." (J. Batchelor, _The Ainu and their
    Folklore_, p. 162.)

    A great many theories have been put forward to explain the
    Chinese fashion of compressing and deforming the foot. The
    Chinese are great admirers of the feminine foot, and show
    extreme sexual sensitiveness in regard to it. Chinese women
    naturally possess very small feet, and the main reason for
    binding them is probably to be found in the desire to make them
    still smaller. (See, e.g., Stratz, _Die Frauenkleidung_, 1904, p.

An interesting question, which in part finds its explanation here and is
of considerable significance from the point of view of sexual selection,
concerns the relative admiration bestowed on blondes and brunettes. The
question is not, indeed, one which is entirely settled by racial
characteristics. There is something to be said on the matter from the
objective standpoint of aesthetic considerations. Stratz, in a chapter on
beauty of coloring in woman, points out that fair hair is more beautiful
because it harmonizes better with the soft outlines of woman, and, one may
add, it is more brilliantly conspicuous; a golden object looks larger than
a black object. The hair of the armpit, also, Stratz considers should be
light. On the other hand, the pubic hair should be dark in order to
emphasize the breadth of the pelvis and the obtusity of the angle between
the mons veneris and the thighs. The eyebrows and eyelashes should also be
dark in order to increase the apparent size of the orbits. Stratz adds
that among many thousand women he has only seen one who, together with an
otherwise perfect form, has also possessed these excellencies in the
highest measure. With an equable and matt complexion she had blonde, very
long, smooth hair, with sparse, blonde, and curly axillary hair; but,
although her eyes were blue, the eyebrows and eyelashes were black, as
also was the not overdeveloped pubic hair.[154]

We may accept it as fairly certain that, so far as any objective standard
of aesthetic beauty is recognizable, that standard involves the supremacy
of the fair type of woman. Such supremacy in beauty has doubtless been
further supported by the fact that in most European countries the ruling
caste, the aristocratic class, whose superior energy has brought it to the
top, is somewhat blonder than the average population.

The main cause, however, in determining the relative amount of admiration
accorded in Europe to blondes and to brunettes is the fact that the
population of Europe must be regarded as predominantly fair, and that our
conception of beauty in feminine coloring is influenced by an instinctive
desire to seek this type in its finest forms. In the north of Europe there
can, of course, be no question concerning the predominant fairness of the
population, but in portions of the centre and especially in the south it
may be considered a question. It must, however, be remembered that the
white population occupying all the shores of the Mediterranean have the
black peoples of Africa immediately to the south of them. They have been
liable to come in contact with the black peoples and in contrast with them
they have tended not only to be more impressed with their own whiteness,
but to appraise still more highly its blondest manifestations as
representing a type the farthest removed from the negro. It must be added
that the northerner who comes into the south is apt to overestimate the
darkness of the southerner because of the extreme fairness of his own
people. The differences are, however, less extreme than we are apt to
suppose; there are more dark people in the north than we commonly assume,
and more fair people in the south. Thus, if we take Italy, we find in its
fairest part, Venetia, according to Raseri, that there are 8 per cent.
communes in which fair hair predominates, 81 per cent. in which brown
predominates, and only 11 per cent. in which black predominates; as we go
farther south black hair becomes more prevalent, but there are in most
provinces a few communes in which fair hair is not only frequent, but even
predominant. It is somewhat the same with light eyes, which are also most
abundant in Venetia and decrease to a slighter extent as we go south. It
is possible that in former days the blondes prevailed to a greater degree
than to-day in the south of Europe. Among the Berbers of the Atlas
Mountains, who are probably allied to the South Europeans, there appears
to be a fairly considerable proportion of blondes,[155] while on the other
hand there is some reason to believe that blondes die out under the
influence of civilization as well as of a hot climate.

However this may be, the European admiration for blondes dates back to
early classic times. Gods and men in Homer would appear to be frequently
described as fair.[156] Venus is nearly always blonde, as was Milton's
Eve. Lucian refers to women who dye their hair. The Greek sculptors gilded
the hair of their statues, and the figurines in many cases show very fair
hair.[157] The Roman custom of dyeing the hair light, as Renier has shown,
was not due to the desire to be like the fair Germans, and when Rome fell
it would appear that the custom of dyeing the hair persisted, and never
died out; it is mentioned by Anselm, who died at the beginning of the
twelfth century.[158]

In the poetry of the people in Italy brunettes, as we should expect,
receive much commendation, though even here the blondes are preferred.
When we turn to the painters and poets of Italy, and the aesthetic writers
on beauty from the Renaissance onward, the admiration for fair hair is
unqualified, though there is no correspondingly unanimous admiration for
blue eyes. Angelico and most of the pre-Raphaelite artists usually painted
their women with flaxen and light-golden hair, which often became brown
with the artists of the Renaissance period. Firenzuola, in his admirable
dialogue on feminine beauty, says that a woman's hair should be like gold
or honey or the rays of the sun. Luigini also, in his _Libro della bella
Donna_, says that hair must be golden. So also thought Petrarch and
Ariosto. There is, however, no corresponding predilection among these
writers for blue eyes. Firenzuola said that the eyes must be dark, though
not black. Luigini said that they must be bright and black. Niphus had
previously said that the eyes should be "black like those of Venus" and
the skin ivory, even a little brown. He mentions that Avicenna had praised
the mixed, or gray eye.

In France and other northern countries the admiration for very fair hair
is just as marked as in Italy, and dates back to the earliest ages of
which we have a record. "Even before the thirteenth century," remarks
Houdoy, in his very interesting study of feminine beauty in northern
France during mediaeval times, "and for men as well as for women, fair hair
was an essential condition of beauty; gold is the term of comparison
almost exclusively used."[159] He mentions that in the _Acta Sanctorum_ it
is stated that Saint Godelive of Bruges, though otherwise beautiful, had
black hair and eyebrows and was hence contemptuously called a crow. In the
_Chanson de Roland_ and all the French mediaeval poems the eyes are
invariably _vairs_. This epithet is somewhat vague. It comes from
_varius_, and signifies mixed, which Houdoy regards as showing various
irradiations, the same quality which later gave rise to the term _iris_ to
describe the pupillary membrane.[160] _Vair_ would thus describe not so
much the color of the eye as its brilliant and sparkling quality. While
Houdoy may have been correct, it still seems probable that the eye
described as _vair_ was usually assumed to be "various" in color also, of
the kind we commonly call gray, which is usually applied to blue eyes
encircled with a ring of faintly sprinkled brown pigment. Such eyes are
fairly typical of northern France and frequently beautiful. That this was
the case seems to be clearly indicated by the fact that, as Houdoy himself
points out, a few centuries later the _vair_ eye was regarded as _vert_,
and green eyes were celebrated as the most beautiful.[161] The etymology
was false, but a false etymology will hardly suffice to change an ideal.
At the Renaissance Jehan Lemaire, when describing Venus as the type of
beauty, speaks of her green eyes, and Ronsard, a little later, sang:

    "Noir je veux l'oeil et brun le teint,
    Bien que l'oeil verd toute la France adore."

Early in the sixteenth century Brantome quotes some lines current in
France, Spain, and Italy according to which a woman should have a white
skin, but black eyes and eyebrows, and adds that personally he agrees with
the Spaniard that "a brunette is sometimes equal to a blonde,"[162] but
there is also a marked admiration for green eyes in Spanish literature;
not only in the typical description of a Spanish beauty in the _Celestina_
(Act. I) are the eyes green, but Cervantes, for example, when referring to
the beautiful eyes of a woman, frequently speaks of them as green.

It would thus appear that in Continental Europe generally, from south to
north, there is a fair uniformity of opinion as regards the pigmentary
type of feminine beauty. Such variation as exists seemingly involves a
somewhat greater degree of darkness for the southern beauty in harmony
with the greater racial darkness of the southerner, but the variations
fluctuate within a narrow range; the extremely dark type is always
excluded, and so it would seem probable is the extremely fair type, for
blue eyes have not, on the whole, been considered to form part of the
admired type.

If we turn to England no serious modification of this conclusion is called
for. Beauty is still fair. Indeed, the very word "fair" in England itself
means beautiful. That in the seventeenth century it was generally held
essential that beauty should be blonde is indicated by a passage in the
_Anatomy of Melancholy_, where Burton argues that "golden hair was ever
in great account," and quotes many examples from classic and more modern
literature.[163] That this remains the case is sufficiently evidenced by
the fact that the ballet and chorus on the English stage wear yellow wigs,
and the heroine of the stage is blonde, while the female villain of
melodrama is a brunette.

While, however, this admiration of fairness as a mark of beauty
unquestionably prevails in England, I do not think it can be said--as it
probably can be said of the neighboring and closely allied country of
France--that the most beautiful women belong to the fairest group of the
community. In most parts of Europe the coarse and unbeautiful plebeian
type tends to be very dark; in England it tends to be very fair. England
is, however, somewhat fairer generally than most parts of Europe; so that,
while it may be said that a very beautiful woman in France or in Spain may
belong to the blondest section of the community, a very beautiful woman in
England, even though of the same degree of blondness as her Continental
sister, will not belong to the extremely blonde section of the English
community. It thus comes about that when we are in northern France we find
that gray eyes, a very fair but yet unfreckled complexion, brown hair,
finely molded features, and highly sensitive facial expression combine to
constitute a type which is more beautiful than any other we meet in
France, and it belongs to the fairest section of the French population.
When we cross over to England, however, unless we go to a so-called
"Celtic" district, it is hopeless to seek among the blondest section of
the community for any such beautiful and refined type. The English
beautiful woman, though she may still be fair, is by no means very fair,
and from the English standpoint she may even sometimes appear somewhat
dark:[164] In determining what I call the index of pigmentation--or degree
of darkness of the eyes and hair--of different groups in the National
Portrait Gallery I found that the "famous beauties" (my own personal
criterion of beauty not being taken into account) was somewhat nearer to
the dark than to the light end of the scale.[165] If we consider, at
random, individual instances of famous English beauties they are not
extremely fair. Lady Venetia Stanley, in the early seventeenth century,
who became the wife of Sir Kenelm Digby, was somewhat dark, with brown
hair and eyebrows. Mrs. Overall, a little later in the same century, a
Lancashire woman, the wife of the Dean of St. Paul's, was, says Aubrey,
"the greatest beauty in her time in England," though very wanton, with
"the loveliest eyes that were ever seen"; if we may trust a ballad given
by Aubrey she was dark with black hair. The Gunnings, the famous beauties
of the eighteenth century, were not extremely fair, and Lady Hamilton, the
most characteristic type of English beauty, had blue, brown-flecked eyes
and dark chestnut hair. Coloration is only one of the elements of beauty,
though an important one. Other things being equal, the most blonde is most
beautiful; but it so happens that among the races of Great Britain the
other things are very frequently not equal, and that, notwithstanding a
conviction ingrained in the language, with us the fairest of women is not
always the "fairest." So magical, however, is the effect of brilliant
coloring that it serves to keep alive in popular opinion an unqualified
belief in the universal European creed of the beauty of blondness.

We have seen that underlying the conception of beauty, more especially as
it manifests itself in woman to man, are to be found at least three
fundamental elements: First there is the general beauty of the species as
it tends to culminate in the white peoples of European origin; then there
is the beauty due to the full development or even exaggeration of the
sexual and more especially the secondary sexual characters; and last there
is the beauty due to the complete embodiment of the particular racial or
national type. To make the analysis fairly complete must be added at least
one other factor: the influence of individual taste. Every individual, at
all events in civilization, within certain narrow limits, builds up a
feminine ideal of his own, in part on the basis of his own special
organization and its demands, in part on the actual accidental attractions
he has experienced. It is unnecessary to emphasize the existence of this
factor, which has always to be taken into account in every consideration
of sexual selection in civilized man. But its variations are numerous and
in impassioned lovers it may even lead to the idealization of features
which are in reality the reverse of beautiful. It may be said of many a
man, as d'Annunzio says of the hero of his _Trionfo della Morte_ in
relation to the woman he loved, that "he felt himself bound to her by the
real qualities of her body, and not only by those which were most
beautiful, but specially by _those which were least beautiful_" (the
novelist italicizes these words), so that his attention was fixed upon her
defects, and emphasized them, thus arousing within himself an impetuous
state of desire. Without invoking defects, however, there are endless
personal variations which may all be said to come within the limits of
possible beauty or charm. "There are no two women," as Stratz remarks,
"who in exactly the same way stroke back a rebellious lock from their
brows, no two who hold the hand in greeting in exactly the same way, no
two who gather up their skirts as they walk with exactly the same
movement."[166] Among the multitude of minute differences--which yet can
be seen and felt--the beholder is variously attracted or repelled
according to his own individual idiosyncrasy, and the operations of sexual
selection are effected accordingly.

Another factor in the constitution of the ideal of beauty, but one perhaps
exclusively found under civilized conditions, is the love of the unusual,
the remote, the exotic. It is commonly stated that rarity is admired in
beauty. This is not strictly true, except as regards combinations and
characters which vary only in a very slight degree from the generally
admired type. "_Jucundum nihil est quod non reficit variatas_," according
to the saying of Publilius Syrus. The greater nervous restlessness and
sensibility of civilization heightens this tendency, which is not
infrequently found also among men of artistic genius. One may refer, for
instance, to Baudelaire's profound admiration for the mulatto type of
beauty.[167] In every great centre of civilization the national ideal of
beauty tends to be somewhat modified in exotic directions, and foreign
ideals, as well as foreign fashions, become preferred to those that are
native. It is significant of this tendency that when, a few years since,
an enterprising Parisian journal hung in its _salle_ the portraits of one
hundred and thirty-one actresses, etc., and invited the votes of the
public by ballot as to the most beautiful of them, not one of the three
women who came out at the head of the poll was French. A dancer of Belgian
origin (Cleo de Merode) was by far at the head with over 3000 votes,
followed by an American from San Francisco (Sybil Sanderson), and then a
Polish woman.


[134] Figured in Mau's _Pompeii_, p. 174.

[135] As a native of Lukunor said to the traveler Mertens, "It has the
same object as your clothes, to please the women."

[136] "The greatest provocations of lust are from our apparel," as Burton
states (_Anatomy of Melancholy_, Part III, Sec. II, Mem. II, Subs. III),
illustrating this proposition with immense learning. Stanley Hall
(_American Journal of Psychology_, vol. ix, Part III, pp. 365 _et seq._)
has some interesting observations on the various psychic influences of
clothing; cf. Bloch, _Beitraege zur AEtiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_,
Teil II, pp. 330 et seq.

[137] _History of Human Marriage_, Chapter IX, especially p, 201. We have
a striking and comparatively modern European example of an article of
clothing designed to draw attention to the sexual sphere in the codpiece
(the French _braguette_), familiar to us through fifteenth and sixteenth
century pictures and numerous allusions in Rabelais and in Elizabethan
literature. This was originally a metal box for the protection of the
sexual organs in war, but subsequently gave place to a leather case only
worn by the lower classes, and became finally an elegant article of
fashionable apparel, often made of silk and adorned with ribbons, even
with gold and jewels. (See, e.g., Bloch, _Beitraege zur AEtiologie der
Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil I, p. 159.)

[138] A correspondent in Ceylon has pointed out to me that in the Indian
statues of Buddha, Vishnu, goddesses, etc., the necklace always covers the
nipples, a sexually attractive adornment being thus at the same time the
guardian of the orifices of the body. Crawley (_The Mystic Rose_, p. 135)
regards mutilations as in the nature of permanent amulets or charms.

[139] Mantegazza, in his discussion of this point, although an ardent
admirer of feminine beauty, decides that woman's form is not, on the
whole, more beautiful than man's. See Appendix to Cap. IV of _Fisiologia
della Donna_.

[140] For a discussion of the anthropology of the feminine pelvis, see
Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, bd. 1. Sec. VI.

[141] Ploss and Bartels, loc. cit.; Deniker, _Revue d'Anthropologie_,
January 15, 1889, and _Races of Man_, p. 93.

[142] Darwin.

[143] G.F. Watts, "On Taste in Dress," _Nineteenth Century_, 1883.

[144] From mediaeval times onwards there has been a tendency to treat the
gluteal region with contempt, a tendency well marked in speech and custom
among the lowest classes in Europe to-day, but not easily traceable in
classic times. Duehren (_Das Geschlechtsleben in England_, bd. II, pp. 359
et seq.) brings forward quotations from aesthetic writers and others
dealing with the beauty of this part of the body.

[145] Sonnini, _Voyage, etc._, vol. i, p. 308.

[146] Ploss and Bartels, _Das Weib_, bd. 1, Sec. III; Mantegazza,
_Fisiologia della Donna_, Chapter III.

[147] Bloch brings together various interesting quotations concerning the
farthingale and the crinoline. (_Beitraege zur AEtiologie der Psychopathia
Sexualis_, Teil I, p. 156.) He states that, like most other feminine
fashions in dress, it was certainly invented by prostitutes.

[148] The racial variations in the form and character of the breasts are
great, and there are considerable variations even among Europeans. Even as
regards the latter our knowledge is, however, still very vague and
incomplete; there is here a fruitful field for the medical anthropologist.
Ploss and Bartels have brought together the existing data (_Das Weib_, bd.
I, Sec. VIII). Stratz also discusses the subject (_Die Schoenheit das
Weiblichen Koerpers_, Chapter X).

[149] _Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits_, vol. v, p.

[150] These devices are dealt with and illustrations given by Ploss and
Bartels, _Das Weib_ (loc. cit.).

[151] See, e.g., _Parerga und Paralipomena_, bd. I, p. 189, and bd. 2, p.
482. Moll has also discussed this point (_Untersuchungen ueber die Libido
Sexualis_, bd. I, pp. 384 et seq.).

[152] Speaking of some South American tribes, he remarks (_Travels_,
English translations, 1814, vol. iii. p. 236) that they "have as great an
antipathy to the beard as the Eastern nations hold it in reverence. This
antipathy is derived from the same source as the predilection for flat
foreheads, which is seen in so singular a manner in the statues of the
Aztec heroes and divinities. Nations attach the idea of beauty to
everything which particularly characterizes their own physical
conformation, their natural physiognomy." See also Westermarck, _History
of Marriage_, p. 261. Ripley (_Races of Europe_, pp. 49, 202) attaches
much importance to the sexual selection founded on a tendency of this

[153] "Differences of race are irreducible," Abel Hermant remarks
(_Confession d'un Enfant d'Hier_, p. 209), "and between two beings who
love each other they cannot fail to produce exceptional and instructive
reactions. In the first superficial ebullition of love, indeed, nothing
notable may be manifested, but in a fairly short time the two lovers,
innately hostile, in striving to approach each other strike against an
invisible partition which separates them. Their sensibilities are
divergent; everything in each shocks the other; even their anatomical
conformation, even the language of their gestures; all is foreign."

[154] C.H. Stratz, _Die Schoenheit des Weiblichen Koerpers_, fourteenth
edition, Chapter XII.

[155] See, e.g., Sergi, _The Mediterranean Race_, pp. 59-75.

[156] Sergi (_The Mediterranean Race_, Chapter 1), by an analysis of
Homer's color epithets, argues that in very few cases do they involve
fairness; but his attempt scarcely seems successful, although most of
these epithets are undoubtedly vague and involve a certain range of
possible color.

[157] Lechat's study of the numerous realistic colored statues recently
discovered in Greece (summarized in _Zentralblatt fuer Anthropologie_,
1904, ht. 1, p. 22) shows that with few exceptions the hair is fair.

[158] Renier, _Il Tipo Estetico_, pp. 127 et seq. In another book, _Les
Femmes Blondes selon les Peintres de l'Ecole de Venise_, par deux
Venitiens (one of these "Venetians" being Armand Baschet), is brought
together much information concerning the preference for blondes in
literature, together with a great many of the recipes anciently used for
making the hair fair.

[159] J. Houdoy, _La Beaute des Femmes dans la Litterature et dans l'Art
du XIIe au XVIe Siecle_, 1876, pp. 32 et seq.

[160] Houdoy, op. cit., pp. 41 et seq.

[161] Houdoy, op. cit., p. 83.

[162] Brantome, _Vie des Dames Galantes_, Discours II.

[163] _Anatomy of Melancholy_, Part III, Sec. II, Mem. II, Subs. II.

[164] It is significant that Burton (_Anatomy of Melancholy_, loc. cit.),
while praising golden hair, also argues that "of all eyes black are moist
amiable," quoting many examples to this effect from classic and later

[165] "Relative Abilities of the Fair and the Dark," _Monthly Review_,
August, 1901; cf. H. Ellis, _A Study of British Genius_, p. 215.

[166] Stratz, _Die Schoenheit des Weiblichen Koerpers_, p. 217.

[167] Bloch (_Beitraege zur AEtiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil II,
pp. 261 et seq.) brings together some facts bearing on the admiration for
negresses in Paris and elsewhere.


Beauty not the Sole Element in the Sexual Appeal of Vision--Movement--The
Mirror--Narcissism--Pygmalionism--Mixoscopy--The Indifference of Women to
Male Beauty--The Significance of Woman's Admiration of Strength--The
Spectacle of Strength is a Tactile Quality made Visible.

Our discussion of the sensory element of vision in human sexual selection
has been mainly an attempt to disentangle the chief elements of beauty in
so far as beauty is a stimulus to the sexual instinct. Beauty by no means
comprehends the whole of the influences which make for sexual allurement
through vision, but it is the point at which all the most powerful and
subtle of these are focussed; it represents a fairly definite complexus,
appealing at once to the sexual and to the aesthetic impulses, to which no
other sense can furnish anything in any degree analogous. It is because
this conception of beauty has arisen upon it that vision properly occupies
the supreme position in man from the point of view which we here occupy.

Beauty is thus the chief, but it is not the sole, element in the sexual
appeal of vision. In all parts of the world this has always been well
understood, and in courtship, in the effort to arouse tumescence, the
appeals to vision have been multiplied and at the same time aided by
appeals to the other senses. Movement, especially in the form of dancing,
is the most important of the secondary appeals to vision. This is so well
recognized that it is scarcely necessary to insist upon it here; it may
suffice to refer to a single typical example. The most decent of
Polynesian dances, according to William Ellis, was the _hura_, which was
danced by the daughters of chiefs in the presence of young men of rank
with the hope of gaining a future husband. "The daughters of the chiefs,
who were the dancers on these occasions, at times amounted to five or six,
though occasionally only one exhibited her symmetry of figure and
gracefulness of action. Their dress was singular, but elegant. The head
was ornamented with a fine and beautiful braid of human hair, wound round
the head in the form of a turban. A triple wreath of scarlet, white, and
yellow flowers adorned the head-dress. A loose vest of spotted cloth
covered the lower part of the bosom. The tihi, of fine white stiffened
cloth frequently edged with a scarlet border, gathered like a large frill,
passed under the arms and reached below the waist; while a handsome fine
cloth, fastened round the waist with a band or sash, covered the feet. The
breasts were ornamented with rainbow-colored mother-of-pearl shells, and a
covering of curiously wrought network and feathers. The music of the hura
was the large and small drum and occasionally the flute. The movements
were generally slow, but always easy and natural, and no exertion on the
part of the performers was wanting to render them graceful and
attractive."[168] We see here, in this very typical example, how the
extraneous visual aids of movement, color, and brilliancy are invoked in
conjunction with music to make the appeal of beauty more convincing in the
process of sexual selection.

    It may be in place here to mention, in passing, the considerable
    place which vision occupies in normal and abnormal methods of
    heightening tumescence under circumstances which exclude definite
    selection by beauty. The action of mirrors belongs to this group
    of phenomena. Mirrors are present in profusion in high-class
    brothels--on the walls and also above the beds. Innocent youths
    and girls are also often impelled to contemplate themselves in
    mirrors and sometimes thus, produce the first traces of sexual
    excitement. I have referred to the developed forms of this kind
    of self-contemplation in the Study of Auto-erotism, and in this
    connection have alluded to the fable of Narcissus, whence Naecke
    has since devised the term Narcissism for this group of
    phenomena. It is only necessary to mention the enormous
    production of photographs, representing normal and abnormal
    sexual actions, specially prepared for the purpose of exciting or
    of gratifying sexual appetites, and the frequency with which even
    normal photographs of the nude appeal to the same lust of the

    Pygmalionism, or falling in love with statues, is a rare form of
    erotomania founded on the sense of vision and closely related to
    the allurement of beauty. (I here use "pygmalionism" as a general
    term for the sexual love of statues; it is sometimes restricted
    to cases in which a man requires of a prostitute that she shall
    assume the part of a statue which gradually comes to life, and
    finds sexual gratification in this performance alone; Eulenburg
    quotes examples, _Sexuale Neuropathie_, p. 107.) An emotional
    interest in statues is by no means uncommon among young men
    during adolescence. Heine, in _Florentine Nights_, records the
    experiences of a boy who conceived a sentimental love for a
    statue, and, as this book appears to be largely autobiographical,
    the incident may have been founded on fact. Youths have sometimes
    masturbated before statues, and even before the image of the
    Virgin; such cases are known to priests and mentioned in manuals
    for confessors. Pygmalionism appears to have been not uncommon
    among the ancient Greeks, and this has been ascribed to their
    aesthetic sense; but the manifestation is due rather to the
    absence than to the presence of aesthetic feeling, and we may
    observe among ourselves that it is the ignorant and uncultured
    who feel the indecency of statues and thus betray their sense of
    the sexual appeal of such objects. We have to remember that in
    Greece statues played a very prominent part in life, and also
    that they were tinted, and thus more lifelike than with us.
    Lucian, Athenaeus, AElian, and others refer to cases of men who
    fell in love with statues. Tarnowsky (_Sexual Instinct_, English
    edition, p. 85) mentions the case of a young man who was arrested
    in St. Petersburg for paying moonlight visits to the statue of a
    nymph on the terrace of a country house, and Krafft-Ebing quotes
    from a French newspaper the case which occurred in Paris during
    the spring of 1877 of a gardener who fell in love with a Venus in
    one of the parks. (I. Bloch, _Beitraege zur AEtiologie der
    Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil II, pp. 297-305, brings together
    various facts bearing on this group of manifestations.)

    Necrophily, or a sexual attraction for corpses, is sometimes
    regarded as related to pygmalionism. It is, however, a more
    profoundly morbid manifestation, and may perhaps he regarded as a
    kind of perverted sadism.

    Founded on the sense of vision also we find a phenomenon,
    bordering on the abnormal, which is by Moll termed mixoscopy.
    This means the sexual pleasure derived from the spectacle of
    other persons engaged in natural or perverse sexual actions.
    (Moll, _Kontraere Sexualempfindung_, third edition, p. 308. Moll
    considers that in some cases mixoscopy is related to masochism.
    There is, however, no necessary connection between the two
    phenomena.) Brothels are prepared to accommodate visitors who
    merely desire to look on, and for their convenience carefully
    contrived peepholes are provided; such visitors are in Paris
    termed "_voyeurs_." It is said by Coffignon that persons hide at
    night in the bushes in the Champs Elysees in the hope of
    witnessing such scenes between servant girls and their lovers. In
    England during a country walk I have come across an elderly man
    carefully ensconced behind a bush and intently watching through
    his field-glass a couple of lovers reclining on a bank, though
    the actions of the latter were not apparently marked by any
    excess of indecorum. Such impulses are only slightly abnormal,
    whatever may be said of them from the point of view of good
    taste. They are not very far removed from the legitimate
    curiosity of the young woman who, believing herself unobserved,
    turns her glass on to a group of young men bathing naked. They
    only become truly perverse when the gratification thus derived is
    sought in preference to natural sexual gratification. They are
    also not normal when they involve, for instance, a man desiring
    to witness his wife in the act of coitus with another man. I have
    been told of the case of a scientific man who encouraged his wife
    to promote the advances of a young friend of his own, in his own
    drawing-room, he himself remaining present and apparently taking
    no notice; the younger man was astonished, but accepted the
    situation. In such a case, when the motives that led up to the
    episode are obscure, we must not too hastily assume that
    masochism or even mixoscopy is involved. For information on some
    of the points mentioned above see, e.g., I. Bloch, _Beitraege zur
    AEtiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil I, pp. 200 _et seq._;
    Teil II, pp. 195 et seq.

Wide, however, as is the appeal of beauty in sexual selection, it cannot
be said to cover by any means the whole of the visual field in its sexual
relationship. Beauty in the human species is, above all, a feminine
attribute, making its appeal to men. Even for women, as has already been
noted, beauty is still a feminine quality, which they usually admire, and
in cases of inversion worship with an ardor which equals, if it does not
surpass, that experienced by normal men. But the normal woman experiences
no corresponding cult for the beauty of man. The perfection of the body of
man is not behind that of woman in beauty, but the study of it only
appeals to the artist or the aesthetician; it arouses sexual enthusiasm
almost exclusively in the male sexual invert. Whatever may be the case
among animals or even among savages, in civilization the man is most
successful with women is not the most handsome man, and may be the
reverse of handsome.[169] The maiden, according to the old saying, who has
to choose between Adonis and Hercules, will turn to Hercules.

    A correspondent writes: "Men are generally attracted in the first
    instance by a woman's beauty, either of face or figure.
    Frequently this is the highest form of love they are capable of.
    Personally, my own love is always prompted by this. In the case
    of my wife there was certainly a leaven of friendship and moral
    sympathies but these alone would never have been translated into
    love had she not been young and good-looking. Moreover, I have
    felt intense passion for other women, in my relations with whom
    the elements of moral or mental sympathy have not entered. And
    always, as youth and beauty went, I believe I should transfer my
    love to some one else.

    "Now, in woman I fancy this element of beauty and youth does not
    enter so much. I have questioned a large number of women--some
    married, some unmarried, young and old ladies, shopgirls,
    servants, prostitutes, women whom I have known only as friends,
    others with whom I have had sexual relations--and I cannot
    recollect one instance when a woman said she had fallen in love
    with a man for his looks. The nearest approach to any sign of
    this was in the instance of one, who noticed a handsome man
    sitting near us in a hotel, and said to me: 'I should like him to
    kiss me.'

    "I have also noticed that women do not like looking at my body,
    when naked, as I like looking at theirs. My wife has, on a few
    occasions, put her hand over my body, and expressed pleasure at
    the feeling of my skin. (I have very fair, soft skin.) But I have
    never seen women exhibit the excitement that is caused in me by
    the sight of their bodies, which I love to look at, to stroke, to
    kiss all over."

    It is interesting to point out, in this connection, that the
    admiration of strength is not confined to the human female. It is
    by the spectacle of his force that the male among many of the
    lower animals sexually affects the female. Darwin duly allows for
    this fact, while some evolutionists, and notably Wallace,
    consider that it covers the whole field of sexual selection. When
    choice exists, Wallace states, "all the facts appear to be
    consistent with the choice depending on a variety of male
    characteristics, with some of which color is often correlated.
    Thus, it is the opinion of some of the best observers that vigor
    and liveliness are most attractive, and these are, no doubt,
    usually associated with some intensity of color, ... There is
    reason to believe that it is his [the male bird's] persistency
    and energy rather than his beauty which wins the day." (A.R.
    Wallace, _Tropical Nature_, 1898, p. 199.) In his later book,
    _Darwinism_ (p. 295), Wallace reaffirms his position that sexual
    selection means that in the rivalry of males for the female the
    most vigorous secures the advantage; "ornament," he adds, "is the
    natural product and direct outcome of superabundant health and
    vigor." As regards woman's love of strength, see Westermarck,
    _History of Marriage_, p. 255.

Women admire a man's strength rather than his beauty. This statement is
commonly made, and with truth, but, so far as I am aware, its meaning is
never analyzed. When we look into it, I think, we shall find that it leads
us into a special division of the visual sphere of sexual allurement. The
spectacle of force, while it remains strictly within the field of vision,
really brings to us, although unconsciously, impressions that are
correlated with another sense--that of touch. We instinctively and
unconsciously translate visible energy into energy of pressure. In
admiring strength we are really admiring a tactile quality which has been
made visible. It may therefore be said that, while through vision men are
sexually affected mainly by the more purely visual quality of beauty,
women are more strongly affected by visual impressions which express
qualities belonging to the more fundamentally sexual sense of touch.

The distinction between the man's view and the woman's view, here pointed
out, is not, it must be added, absolute. Even for a man, beauty, with all
these components which we have already analyzed in it, is not the sole
sexual allurement of vision. A woman is not necessarily sexually
attractive in the ratio of her beauty, and with even a high degree of
beauty may have a low degree of attraction. The addition of vivacity or
the addition of languor may each furnish a sexual allurement, and each of
these is a translated tactile quality which possesses an obscure potency
from vague sexual implications.[170] But while in the man the demand for
these translated pressure qualities in the visible attractiveness of a
woman are not usually quite clearly realized, in a woman the corresponding
craving for the visual expression of pressure energy is much more
pronounced and predominant. It is not difficult to see why this should be
so, even without falling back on the usual explanation that natural
selection implies that the female shall choose the male who will be the
most likely father of strong children and the best protector of his
family. The more energetic part in physical love belongs to the man, the
more passive part to the woman; so that, while energy in a woman is no
index to effectiveness in love, energy in a man furnishes a seeming index
to the existence of the primary quality of sexual energy which a woman
demands of a man in the sexual embrace. It may be a fallacious index, for
muscular strength is not necessarily correlated with sexual vigor, and in
its extreme degrees appears to be more correlated with its absence. But it
furnishes, in Stendhal's phrase, a probability of passion, and in any case
it still remains a symbol which cannot be without its effect. We must not,
of course, suppose that these considerations are always or often present
to the consciousness of the maiden who "blushingly turns from Adonis to
Hercules," but the emotional attitude is rooted in more or less unerring
instincts. In this way it happens that even in the field of visual
attraction sexual selection influences women on the underlying basis of
the more primitive sense of touch, the fundamentally sexual sense.

    Women are very sensitive to the quality of a man's touch, and
    appear to seek and enjoy contact and pressure to a greater extent
    than do men, although in early adolescence this impulse seems to
    be marked in both sexes. "There is something strangely winning to
    most women," remarks George Eliot, in _The Mill on the Floss_,
    "in that offer of the firm arm; the help is not wanted physically
    at that moment, but the sense of help--the presence of strength
    that is outside them and yet theirs--meets a continual want of
    the imagination."

    Women are often very critical concerning a man's touch and his
    method of shaking hands. Stanley Hall (_Adolescence_, vol. ii, p.
    8) quotes a gifted lady as remarking: "I used to say that,
    however much I liked a man, I could never marry him if I did not
    like the touch of his hand, and I feel so yet."

    Among the elements of sexual attractiveness which make a special
    appeal to women, extreme personal cleanliness would appear to
    take higher rank than it takes in the eyes of a man, some men,
    indeed, seeming to make surprisingly small demands of a woman in
    this respect. If this is so we may connect it with the fact that
    beauty in a woman's eye is to a much greater extent than in a
    man's a picture of energy, in other words, a translation of
    pressure contracts, with which the question of physical purity is
    necessarily more intimately associated than it is with the
    picture of purely visual beauty. It is noteworthy that Ovid (_Ars
    Amandi_, lib. I) urges men who desire to please women to leave
    the arts of adornment and effeminacy to those whose loves are
    homosexual, and to practice a scrupulous attention to extreme
    neatness and cleanliness of body and garments in every detail, a
    sun-browned skin, and the absence of all odor. Some two thousand
    years later Brummell in an age when extravagance and effeminacy
    often marked the fashions of men, introduced a new ideal of
    unobtrusive simplicity, extreme cleanliness (with avoidance of
    perfumes), and exquisite good taste; he abhorred all
    eccentricity, and may be said to have constituted a tradition
    which Englishmen have ever since sought, more or less
    successfully to follow; he was idolized by women.

    It may be added that the attentiveness of women to tactile
    contacts is indicated by the frequency with which in them it
    takes on morbid forms, as the _delire du contact_, the horror of
    contamination, the exaggerated fear of touching dirt. (See, e.g.,
    Raymond and Janet, _Les Obsessions et la Psychasthenie_.)


[168] William Ellis, _Polynesian Researches_, second edition, 1832, vol.
1, p. 215.

[169] Stendhal (_De l'Amour_, Chapter XVIII) has some remarks on this
point, and refers to the influence over women possessed by Lekain, the
famous actor, who was singularly ugly. "It is _passion_," he remarks,
"which we demand; beauty only furnishes _probabilities_."

[170] The charm of a woman's garments to a man is often due in part to
their expressiveness in rendering impressions of energy, vivacity, or
languor. This has often been realized by the poets, and notably by
Herrick, who was singularly sensitive to these qualities in a woman's


The Alleged Charm of Disparity in Sexual Attraction--The Admiration for
High Stature--The Admiration for Dark Pigmentation--The Charm of
Parity--Conjugal Mating--The Statistical Results of Observation as Regards
General Appearance, Stature, and Pigmentation of Married
Couples--Preferential Mating and Assortative Mating--The Nature of the
Advantage Attained by the Fair in Sexual Selection--The Abhorrence of
Incest and the Theories of its Cause--The Explanation in Reality
Simple--The Abhorrence of Incest in Relation to Sexual Selection--The
Limits to the Charm of Parity in Conjugal Mating--The Charm of Disparity
in Secondary Sexual Characters.

When we are dealing with the senses of touch, smell, and hearing it is
impossible at present, and must always remain somewhat difficult, to
investigate precisely the degree and direction of their influence in
sexual selection. We can marshal in order--as has here been attempted--the
main facts and considerations which clearly indicate that there is and
must be such an influence, but we cannot even attempt to estimate its
definite direction and still less to measure it precisely. With regard to
vision, we are in a somewhat better position. It is possible to estimate
the direction of the influence which certain visible characters exert on
sexual selection, and it is even possible to attempt their actual
measurement, although there must frequently be doubt as to the
interpretation of such measurements.

Two facts render it thus possible to deal more exactly with the influence
of vision on sexual selection than with the influence of the other senses.
In the first place, men and women consciously seek for certain visible
characters in the persons to whom they are attracted; in other words,
their "ideals" of a fitting mate are visual rather than tactile,
olfactory, or auditory. In the second place, whether such "ideals" are
potent in actual mating, or whether they are modified or even inhibited by
more potent psychological or general biological influences, it is in
either case possible to measure and compare the visible characters of
mated persons.

The two visible characters which are at once most frequently sought in a
mate and most easily measurable are degree of stature and degree of
pigmentation. Every youth or maiden pictures the person he or she would
like for a lover as tall or short, fair or dark, and such characters are
measurable and have on a large scale been measured. It is of interest in
illustration of the problem of sexual selection in man to consider briefly
what results are at present obtainable regarding the influence of these
two characters.

It has long been a widespread belief that short people are sexually
attracted to tall people, and tall people to short; that in the matter of
stature men and women are affected by what Bain called the "charm of
disparity." It has not always prevailed. Many centuries ago Leonardo da
Vinci, whose insight at so many points anticipated our most modern
discoveries, affirmed clearly and repeatedly the charm of parity. After
remarking that painters tend to delineate the figures that resemble
themselves he adds that men also fall in love with and marry those who
resemble themselves; "_chi s'innamora voluntieri s'innamorano de cose a
loro simiglianti_," he elsewhere puts it.[171] But from that day to this,
it would seem Leonardo's statements have remained unknown or unnoticed.
Bernardin de Saint-Pierre said that "love is the result of contrasts," and
Schopenhauer affirmed the same point very decisively; various scientific
and unscientific writers have repeated this statement.[172]

So far as stature is concerned, there appears to be very little reason to
suppose that this "charm of disparity" plays any notable part in
constituting the sexual ideals of either men or women. Indeed, it may
probably be affirmed that both men and women seek tallness in the person
to whom they are sexually attracted. Darwin quotes the opinion of Mayhew
that among dogs the females are strongly attracted to males of large
size.[173] I believe this is true, and it is probably merely a particular
instance of a general psychological tendency.

    It is noteworthy as an indication of the direction of the sexual
    ideal in this matter that the heroines of male novelists are
    rarely short and the heroes of female novelists almost invariably
    tall. A reviewer of novels addressing to lady novelists in the
    _Speaker_ (July 26, 1890) "A Plea for Shorter Heroes," publishes
    statistics on this point. "Heroes," he states, "are longer this
    year than ever. Of the 192 of whom I have had my word to say
    since October of last year, 27 were merely tall, and 11 were only
    slightly above the middle height. No less than 85 stood exactly
    six feet in their stocking soles, and the remainder were
    considerably over the two yards. I take the average to be six
    feet three."

    As a slight test alike of the supposed "charm of disparity" as
    well as of the general degree in which tall and short persons are
    sought as mates by those of the opposite sex I have examined a
    series of entries in the _Round-About_, a publication issued by a
    club, of which the president is Mr. W.T. Stead, having for its
    object the purpose of promoting correspondence, friendship, and
    marriage between its members. There are two classes, of entries,
    one inserted with a view to "intellectual friendship," the other
    with a view to marriage. I have not thought it necessary to
    recognize this distinction here; if a man describes his own
    physical characteristics and those of the lady he would like as a
    friend, I assume that, from the point of view of the present
    inquiry, he is much on the same footing as the man who seeks a
    wife. In the series of entries which I have examined 35 men and
    women state approximately the height of the man or woman they
    seek to know; 30 state in addition their own height. The results
    are expressed in the table on the following page.

    Although the cases are few, the results are, in two main
    respects, sufficiently clear without multiplication of data. In
    the first place, those who seek parity, whether men or women, are
    in a majority over those who seek disparity. In the second place,
    the existence of any disparity at all is due only to the
    universal desire to find a tall person. Not one man or woman sets
    down shortness as his or her ideal. The very fact that no man in
    these initial announcements ventures to set himself down as short
    (although a considerable proportion describe themselves as tall)
    indicates a consciousness that shortness is undesirable, as also
    does the fact that the women very frequently describe themselves
    as tall.

The same charm of disparity which has been supposed to rule in selective
attraction as regards stature has also been assumed as regards
pigmentation. The fair, it is said, are attracted to the dark, the dark to
the fair. Again, it must be said that this common assumption is not
confirmed either by introspection or by any attempt to put the matter on a
statistical basis.[174]

        WOMEN.                        MEN.              TOTALS.

Tall women seek tall men.. 8  Tall men seek tall women.. 6  14
Short women seek short men 0  Short men seek short women 0   0
Medium-sized women seek       Medium-sized men seek
  medium-sized men ....... 0    medium-sized women ....  3   3

    Seek parity........... 8      Seek parity........... 9  17

Tall women seek short men. 0  Tall men seek short women. 0   0
Short women seek tall men. 4  Short men seek tall women. 0   4
Medium-sized woman seeks      Medium-sized men seek tall
  tall man................ 1    women .................. 8   9

    Seek disparity........ 5      Seek disparity........ 8  13

                              Men of unknown height seek
                                tall women.............. 5   5

Most people who will carefully introspect their own feelings and ideals in
this matter will find that they are not attracted to persons of the
opposite sex who are strikingly unlike themselves in pigmentary
characters. Even when the abstract ideal of a sexually desirable person
is endowed with certain pigmentary characters, such as blue eyes or
darkness,--either of which is liable to make a vaguely romantic appeal to
the imagination,--it is usually found, on testing the feeling for
particular persons, that the variation from the personal type of the
subject is usually only agreeable within narrow limits, and that there is
a very common tendency for persons of totally opposed pigmentary types,
even though they may sometimes be considered to possess a certain aesthetic
beauty, to be regarded as sexually unattractive or even repulsive. With
this feeling may perhaps be associated the feeling, certainly very widely
felt, that one would not like to marry a person of foreign, even though
closely allied, race.

    From the same number of the _Round-About_ from which I have
    extracted the data on stature, I have obtained corresponding data
    on pigmentation, and have embodied them in the following table.
    They are likewise very scanty, but they probably furnish as good
    a general indication of the drift of ideals in this matter as we
    should obtain from more extensive data of the same character.

        WOMEN.                       MEN.              TOTALS.

Fair women seek fair men. 2  Fair men seek fair women 2   4
Dark woman seeks dark man 1  Dark men seek dark women 7   8

    Seek parity.......... 3      Seek parity......... 9  12

Fair women seek dark men. 4  Fair men seek dark women 3   7
Dark woman seeks fair man 1  Dark men seek fair women 4   5
                             Medium-colored man seeks
    Seek disparity....... 5    dark woman ........... 1   1
                             Medium-colored man seeks
                               fair woman ........... 1   1

                                 Seek disparity...... 9  14

                             Men of unknown color seek
                               dark women ........... 3   3

    It will be seen that in the case of pigmentation there is not as
    in the case of stature a decided charm of parity in the formation
    of sexual ideals. The phenomenon, however, remains essentially
    analogous. Just as in regard to stature there is without
    exception an abstract admiration for tall persons, so here,
    though to a less marked extent, there is a general admiration for
    dark persons. As many as 6 out of 8 women and 14 out of 21 men
    seek a dark partner. This tendency ranges itself with the
    considerations already brought forward (p. 182), leading us to
    believe that, in England at all events, the admiration of
    fairness is not efficacious to promote any sexual selection, and
    that if there is actually any such selection it must be put down
    to other causes. No doubt, even in England the abstract aesthetic
    admiration of fairness is justifiable and may influence the
    artist. Probably also it influences the poet, who is affected by
    a long-established convention in favor of fairness, and perhaps
    also by a general tendency on the part of our poets to be
    themselves fair and to yield to the charm of parity,--the
    tendency to prefer the women of one's own stock,--which we have
    already found to be a real force.[175] But, as a matter of fact,
    our famous English beauties are not very fair; probably our
    handsomest men are not very fair, and the abstract sexual ideals
    of both our men and our women thus go out toward the dark.

The formation of a sexual ideal, while it furnishes a predisposition to be
attracted in a certain direction, and undoubtedly has a certain weight in
sexual choice, is not by any means the whole of sexual selection. It is
not even the whole of the psychic element in sexual selection. Let us
take, for instance, the question of stature. There would seem to be a
general tendency for both men and women, apart from and before experience,
to desire sexually large persons of the opposite sex. It may even be that
this is part of a wider zooelogical tendency. In the human species it shows
itself also on the spiritual plane, in the desire for the infinite, in the
deep and unreasoning feeling that it is impossible to have too much of a
good thing. But it not infrequently happens that a man in whose youthful
dreams of love the heroine has always been large, has not been able to
calculate what are the special nervous and other characteristics most
likely to be met in large women, nor how far these correlated
characteristics would suit his own instinctive demands. He may, and
sometimes does, find that in these other demands, which prove to be more
important and insistent than the desire for stature, the tall women he
meets are less likely to suit him than the medium or short women.[176] It
may thus happen that a man whose ideal of woman has always been as tall
may yet throughout life never be in intimate relationship with a tall
woman because he finds that practically he has more marked affinities in
the case of shorter women. His abstract ideals are modified or negatived
by more imperative sympathies or antipathies.

In one field such sympathies have long been recognized, especially by
alienists, as leading to sexual unions of parity, notwithstanding the
belief in the generally superior attraction of disparity. It has often
been pointed out that the neuropathic, the insane and criminal,
"degenerates" of all kinds, show a notable tendency to marry each other.
This tendency has not, however, been investigated with any precision.[177]

The first attempt on a statistical basis to ascertain what degree of
parity or disparity is actually attained by sexual selection was made by
Alphonse de Candolle.[178] Obtaining his facts from Switzerland, North
Germany, and Belgium, he came to the conclusion that marriages are most
commonly contracted between persons with different eye-colors, except in
the case of brown-eyed women, who (as Schopenhauer stated, and as is seen
in the English data of the sexual ideal I have brought forward) are found
more attractive than others.

The first series of serious observations tending to confirm the result
reached by the genius of Leonardo da Vinci and to show that sexual
selection results in the pairing of like rather than of unlike persons was
made by Hermann Fol, the embryologist.[179] He set out with the popular
notion that married people end by resembling each other, but when at Nice,
which is visited by many young married couples on their honeymoons, he was
struck by the resemblances already existing immediately after marriage. In
order to test the matter he obtained the photographs of 251 young and old
married couples not personally known to him. The results were as follows:


Young.............. 132, about 66,66   66, about 33.33   198
Old ................ 38, about 71.70   15, about 28.30    53

He concluded that in the immense majority of marriages of inclination the
contracting parties are attracted by similarities, and not by
dissimilarities, and that, consequently, the resemblances between aged
married couples are not acquired during conjugal life. Although Fol's
results were not obtained by good methods, and do not cover definite
points like stature and eye-color, they represented the conclusions of a
highly skilled and acute observer and have since been amply confirmed.

Galton could not find that the average results from a fairly large number
of cases indicated that stature, eye-color, or other personal
characteristics notably influenced sexual selection, as evidenced by a
comparison of married couples.[180] Karl Pearson, however, in part making
use of a large body of data obtained by Galton, referring to stature and
eye-color, has reached the conclusion that sexual selection ultimately
results in a marked degree of parity so far as these characters are
concerned.[181] As regards stature, he is unable to find evidence of what
he terms "preferential mating"; that is to say, it does not appear that
any preconceived ideals concerning the desirability of tallness in sexual
mates leads to any perceptibly greater tallness of the chosen mate;
husbands are not taller than men in general, nor wives than women in
general. In regard to eye-color, however, there appeared to be evidence of
preferential mating. Husbands are very decidedly fairer than men in
general, and though there is no such marked difference in women, wives are
also somewhat fairer than women in general. As regards "assortative
mating" as it is termed by Pearson,--the tendency to parity or to
disparity between husbands and wives,--the result were in both cases
decisive. Tall men marry women who are somewhat above the average in
height; short men marry women who are somewhat below the average, so that
husband and wife resemble each other in stature as closely as uncle and
niece. As regards eye-color there is also a tendency for like to marry
like; the light-eyed men tend to marry light-eyed women more often than
dark-eyed women; the dark-eyed men tend to marry dark-eyed women more
often than light-eyed. There remains, however, a very considerable
difference in the eye-color of husband and wife; in the 774 couples dealt
with by Pearson there are 333 dark-eyed women to only 251 dark-eyed men,
and 523 light-eyed men to only 441 light-eyed women. The women in the
English population are darker-eyed than the men;[182] but the difference
is scarcely so great as this; so that even if wives are not so dark-eyed
as women generally it would appear that the ideal admiration for the
dark-eyed may still to some extent make itself felt in actual mating.

While we have to recognize that the modification and even total inhibition
of sexual ideals in the process of actual mating is largely due to psychic
causes, such causes do not appear to cover the whole of the phenomena.
Undoubtedly they count for much, and the man or the woman who, from
whatever causes, has constituted a sexual ideal with certain characters
may in the actual contacts of life find that individuals with other and
even opposed characters most adequately respond to his or her psychic
demands. There are, however, other causes in play here which at first
sight may seem to be not of a purely psychic character. One unquestionable
cause of this kind comes into action in regard to pigmentary selection.
Fair people, possibly as a matter of race more than from absence of
pigment, are more energetic than dark people. They possess a sanguine
vigor and impetuosity which, in most, though not in all, fields and
especially in the competition of practical life, tend to give them some
superiority over their darker brethren. The greater fairness of husbands
in comparison with men in general, as found by Karl Pearson, is thus
accounted for; fair men are most likely to obtain wives. Husbands are
fairer than men in general for the same reason that, as I have shown
elsewhere,[183] created peers are fairer than either hereditary peers or
even most groups of intellectual persons; they have possessed in higher
measure the qualities that insure success. It may be added that with the
recognition of this fact we have not really left the field of sexual
psychology, for, as has already been pointed out, that energy which thus
insures success in practical life is itself a sexual allurement to women.
Energy in a woman in courtship is less congenial to her sexual attitude
than to a man's, and is not attractive to men; thus it is not surprising,
even apart from the probably greater beauty of dark women, that the
preponderance of fairness among wives as compared to women generally,
indicated by Karl Pearson's data, is very slight. It may possibly be
accounted for altogether by homogamy--the tendency of like to marry
like--in the fair husbands.

The energy and vitality of fair people is not, however, it is probable,
merely an indirect cause of the greater tendency of fair men to become
husbands; that is to say, it is not merely the result of the generally
somewhat greater ability of the fair to attain success in temporal
affairs. In addition to this, fair men, if not fair women, would appear to
show a tendency to a greater activity in their specifically sexual
proclivities. This is a point which we shall encounter in a later _Study_
and it is therefore unnecessary to discuss it here.

In dealing with the question of sexual selection in man various writers
have been puzzled by the problem presented by that abhorrence of incest
which is usually, though not always so clearly marked among the different
races of mankind.[184] It was once commonly stated, as by Morgan and by
Maine, that this abhorrence was the result of experience; the marriages of
closely related persons were found to be injurious to offspring and were
therefore avoided. This theory, however, is baseless because the marriages
of closely related persons are not injurious to the offspring.
Consanguineous marriages, so closely as they can be investigated on a
large scale,--that is to say, marriages between cousins,--as Huth was the
first to show, develop no tendency to the production of offspring of
impaired quality provided the parents are sound; they are only injurious
in this respect in so far as they may lead to the union of couples who are
both defective in the same direction. According to another theory, that of
Westermarck, who has very fully and ably discussed the whole
question,[185] "there is an innate aversion to sexual intercourse between
persons living very closely together from early youth, and, as such
persons are in most cases related, this feeling displays itself chiefly
as a horror of intercourse between near kin." Westermarck points out very
truly that the prohibition of incest could not be founded on experience
even if (as he is himself inclined to believe) consanguineous marriages
are injurious to the offspring; incest is prevented "neither by laws, nor
by customs, nor by education, but by an _instinct_ which under normal
circumstances makes sexual love between the nearest kin a psychic
impossibility." There is, however, a very radical objection to this
theory. It assumes the existence of a kind of instinct which can with
difficulty be accepted. An instinct is fundamentally a more or less
complicated series of reflexes set in action by a definite stimulus. An
innate tendency at once so specific and so merely negative, involving at
the same time deliberate intellectual processes, can only with a certain
force be introduced into the accepted class of instincts. It is as awkward
and artificial an instinct as would be, let us say, an instinct to avoid
eating the apples that grew in one's own yard.[186]

The explanation of the abhorrence to incest is really, however,
exceedingly simple. Any reader who has followed the discussion of sexual
selection in the present volume and is also familiar with the "Analysis of
the Sexual Impulse" set forth in the previous volume of these _Studies_
will quickly perceive that the normal failure of the pairing instinct to
manifest itself in the case of brothers and sisters, or of boys and girls
brought up together from infancy, is a merely negative phenomenon due to
the inevitable absence under those circumstances of the conditions which
evoke the pairing impulse. Courtship is the process by which powerful
sensory stimuli proceeding from a person of the opposite sex gradually
produce the physiological state of tumescence, with its psychic
concomitant of love and desire, more or less necessary for mating to be
effected. But between those who have been brought up together from
childhood all the sensory stimuli of vision, hearing, and touch have been
dulled by use, trained to the calm level of affection, and deprived of
their potency to arouse the erethistic excitement which produces sexual
tumescence.[187] Brothers and sisters in relation to each other have at
puberty already reached that state to which old married couples by the
exhaustion of youthful passion and the slow usage of daily life gradually
approximate. Passion between brother and sister is, indeed, by no means so
rare as is sometimes supposed, and it may be very strong, but it is
usually aroused by the aid of those conditions which are normally required
for the appearance of passion, more especially by the unfamiliarity caused
by a long separation. In reality, therefore, the usual absence of sexual
attraction between brothers and sisters requires no special explanation;
it is merely due to the normal absence under these circumstances of the
conditions that tend to produce sexual tumescence and the play of those
sensory allurements which lead to sexual selection.[188] It is a purely
negative phenomenon and it is quite unnecessary, even if it were
legitimate, to invoke any instinct for its explanation. It is probable
that the same tendency also operates among animals to some extent, tending
to produce a stronger sexual attraction toward those of their species to
whom they have not become habituated.[189] In animals, and in man also
when living under primitive conditions, sexual attraction is not a
constant phenomenon[190]; it is an occasional manifestation only called
out by the powerful stimulation. It is not its absence which we need to
explain; it is its presence which needs explanation, and such an
explanation we find in the analysis of the phenomena of courtship.

The abhorrence of incest is an interesting and significant phenomenon from
our present point of view, because it instructively points out to us the
limits to that charm of parity which apparently makes itself felt to some
considerable extent in the constitution of the sexual ideal and still more
in the actual homogamy which seems to predominate over heterogamy. This
homogamy is, it will be observed, a _racial_ homogamy; it relates to
anthropological characters which mark stocks. Even in this racial field,
it is unnecessary to remark, the homogamy attained is not, and could not
be, absolute; nor would it appear that such absolute racial homogamy is
even desired. A tall man who seeks a tall woman can seldom wish her to be
as tall as himself; a dark man who seeks a dark woman, certainly will not
be displeased at the inevitably greater or less degree of pigment which he
finds in her eyes as compared to his own.

But when we go outside the racial field this tendency to homogamy
disappears at once. A man marries a woman who, with slight, but agreeable,
variations, belongs to a like stock to himself. The abhorrence of incest
indicates that even the sexual attraction to people of the same stock has
its limits, for it is not strong enough to overcome the sexual
indifference between persons of near kin. The desire for novelty shown in
this sexual indifference to near kin and to those who have been housemates
from childhood, together with the notable sexual attractiveness often
possessed by a strange youth or maiden who arrives in a small town or
village, indicates that slight differences in stock, if not, indeed, a
positive advantage from this point of view, are certainly not a
disadvantage. When we leave the consideration of racial differences to
consider sexual differences, not only do we no longer find any charm of
parity, but we find that there is an actual charm of disparity. At this
point it is necessary to remember all that has been brought forward in
earlier pages[191] concerning the emphasis of the secondary sexual
characters in the ideal of beauty. All those qualities which the woman
desires to see emphasized in the man are the precise opposite of the
qualities which the man desires to see emphasized in the woman. The man
must be strong, vigorous, energetic, hairy, even rough, to stir the
primitive instincts of the woman's nature; the woman who satisfies this
man must be smooth, rounded, and gentle. It would be hopeless to seek for
any homogamy between the manly man and the virile woman, between the
feminine woman and the effeminate man. It is not impossible that this
tendency to seek disparity in sexual characters may exert some disturbing
influences on the tendency to seek parity in anthropological racial
characters, for the sexual difference to some extent makes itself felt in
racial characters. A somewhat greater darkness of women is a secondary
(or, more precisely, tertiary) sexual character, and on this account
alone, it is possible, somewhat attractive to men[192]. A difference in
size and stature is a very marked secondary sexual character. In the
considerable body of data concerning the stature of married couples
reproduced by Pearson from Galton's tables, although the tall on the
average tend to marry the tall, and the short the short, it is yet
noteworthy that, while the men of 5 ft. 4 ins. have more wives at 5 ft. 2
ins. than at any other height, men of 6 ft. show, in an exactly similar
manner, more wives at 5 ft. 2 ins. than at any other height, although for
many intermediate heights the most numerous groups of wives are

In matters of carriage, habit, and especially clothing the love of sexual
disparity is instinctive, everywhere well marked, and often carried to
very great lengths. To some extent such differences are due to the
opposing demands of more fundamental differences in custom and occupation.
But this cause by no means adequately accounts for them, since it may
sometimes happen that what in one land is the practice of the men is in
another the practice of the women, and yet the practices of the two sexes
are still opposed[194]. Men instinctively desire to avoid doing things in
women's ways, and women instinctively avoid doing things in men's ways,
yet both sexes admire in the other sex those things which in themselves
they avoid. In the matter of clothing this charm of disparity reaches its
highest point, and it has constantly happened that men have even called in
the aid of religion to enforce a distinction which seemed to them so
urgent[195]. One of the greatest of sex allurements would be lost and the
extreme importance of clothes would disappear at once if the two sexes
were to dress alike; such identity of dress has, however, never come about
among any people.


[171] L. da Vinci, _Frammenti_, selected by Solmi, pp. 177-180.

[172] Westermarck, who accepts the "charm of disparity," gives references,
_History of Human Marriage_, p. 354.

[173] _Descent of Man_. Part II, Chapter XVIII.

[174] Bloch (_Beitraege zur AEtiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil II,
pp. 260 et seq.) refers to the tendency to admixture of races and to the
sexual attraction occasionally exerted by the negress and sometimes the
negro on white persons as evidence in favor of such charm of disparity. In
part, however, we are here concerned with vague statements concerning
imperfectly known facts, in part with merely individual variations, and
with that love of the exotic under the stimulation of civilized conditions
to which reference has already been made (p. 184).

[175] In this connection the exceptional case of Tennyson is of interest.
He was born and bred in the very fairest part of England (Lincolnshire),
but he himself and the stock from which he sprang were dark to a very
remarkable degree. In his work, although it reveals traces of the
conventional admiration for the fair, there is a marked and unusual
admiration for distinctly dark women, the women resembling the stock to
which he himself belonged. See Havelock Ellis, "The Color Sense in
Literature," _Contemporary Review_, May, 1896.

[176] It is noteworthy that in the _Round-About_, already referred to,
although no man expresses a desire to meet a short woman, when he refers
to announcements by women as being such as would be likely to suit him,
the persons thus pointed out are in a notable proportion short.

[177] It has been discussed by F.J. Debret, _La Selection Naturelle dans
l'espece humaine_ (These de Paris), 1901. Debret regards it as due to
natural selection.

[178] "Heredite de la Couleur des Yeux dans l'espece humaine," _Archives
des Sciences physiques et naturelles_, ser. iii, vol. xii, 1884, p. 109.

[179] _Revue Scientifique_, Jan., 1891.

[180] F. Galton, _Natural Inheritance_, p. 85. It may be remarked that
while Galton's tables on page 206 show a slight excess of disparity as
regards sexual selection in stature, in regard to eye color they
anticipate Karl Pearson's more extensive data and in marriages of
disparity show a decided deficiency of observed over chance results. In
_English Men of Science_ (pp. 28-33), also, Galton found that among the
parents parity decidedly prevailed over disparity (78 to 31) alike as
regards temperament, hair color, and eye color.

[181] Karl Pearson, _Phil. Trans. Royal Society_, vol. clxxxvii, p. 273,
and vol. cxcv, p. 113; _Proceedings of the Royal Society_, vol. lxvi, p.
28; _Grammar of Science_, second edition, 1900, pp. 425 _et seq._;
_Biometrika_, November, 1903. The last-named periodical also contains a
study on "Assortative Mating in Man," bringing forward evidence to show
that, apart from environmental influence, "length of life is a character
which is subject to selection;" that is to say, the long-lived tend to
marry the long-lived, and the short-lived to marry the short-lived.

[182] For a summary of the evidence on this point see Havelock Ellis, _Man
and Woman_, fourth edition, 1904, pp. 256-264.

[183] "The Comparative Abilities of the Fair and the Dark," _Monthly
Review_, August, 1901.

[184] The fact that even in Europe the abhorrence to incest is not always
strongly felt is brought out by Bloch, _Beitraege zur AEtiologie der
Psychopathia Sexualis_, Teil II, pp. 263 et seq.

[185] Westermarck, _History of Marriage_, Chapters XIV and XV.

[186] Crawley (_The Mystic Rose_, p. 446) has pointed out that it is not
legitimate to assume the possibility of an "instinct" of this character;
instinct has "nothing in its character but a response of function to

[187] Fromentin, in his largely autobiographic novel _Dominique_, makes
Olivier say: "Julie is my cousin, which is perhaps a reason why she should
please me less than anyone else. I have always known her. We have, as it
were, slept in the same cradle. There may be people who would be attracted
by this almost fraternal relationship. To me the very idea of marrying
someone whom I knew as a baby is as absurd as that of coupling two dolls."

[188] It may well be, as Crawley argues (_The Mystic Rose_, Chapter XVII),
that sexual taboo plays some part among primitive people in preventing
incestuous union, as, undoubtedly, training and moral ideas do among
civilized peoples.

[189] The remarks of the Marquis de Brisay, an authority on doves, as
communicated to Giard (_L'Intermediare des Biologistes_, November 20,
1897), are of much interest on this point, since they correspond to what
we find in the human species: "Two birds from the same nest rarely couple.
Birds coming from the same nest behave as though they regarded coupling as
prohibited, or, rather, they know each other too well, and seem to be
ignorant of their difference in sex, remaining unaffected in their
relations by the changes which make them adults." Westermarck (op. cit.,
p. 334) has some remarks on a somewhat similar tendency sometimes observed
in dogs and horses.

[190] See Appendix to vol. lii of these _Studies_, "The Sexual Impulse
among Savages."

[191] See, especially, _ante_, pp. 163 et seq.

[192] Kistemaecker, as quoted by Bloch (_Beitraege, etc._, ii. p. 340),
alludes in this connection to the dark clothes of men and to the tendency
of women to wear lighter garments, to emphasize the white underlinen, to
cultivate pallor of the face, to use powder. "I am white and you are
brown; ergo, you must love me"; this affirmation, he states, may be found
in the depths of every woman's heart.

[193] K. Pearson, _Grammar of Science_, second edition, p. 430.

[194] In _Man and Woman_ (fourth edition, p. 65) I have referred to a
curious example of this tendency to opposition, which is of almost
worldwide extent. Among some people it is, or has been, the custom for the
women to stand during urination, and in these countries it is usually the
custom for the man to squat; in most countries the practices of the sexes
in this matter are opposed.

[195] It is sufficient to quote one example. At the end of the sixteenth
century it was a serious objection to the fashionable wife of an English
Brownist pastor in Amsterdam that she had "bodies [a bodice or corset]
tied to the petticoat with points [laces] as men do their doublets and
their hose, contrary to I Thess., v, 22, conferred with Deut. xxii, 5; and
I John ii, 16."


Summary of the Conclusions at Present Attainable in Regard to the Nature
of Beauty and its Relation to Sexual Selection.

The consideration of vision has led us into a region in which, more
definitely and precisely than is the case with any other sense, we can
observe and even hope to measure the operation of sexual selection in man.
In the conception of feminine beauty we possess an instrument of universal
extension by which it seems possible to measure the nature and extent of
such selection as exercised by men on women. This conception, with which
we set out, is, however, by no means so precise, so easily available for
the attainment of sound conclusions, as at first it may seem to be.

It is true that beauty is not, as some have supposed, a mere matter of
caprice. It rests in part on (1) an objective basis of aesthetic character
which holds all its variations together and leads to a remarkable
approximation among the ideals of feminine beauty cherished by the most
intelligent men of all races. But beyond this general objective basis we
find that (2) the specific characters of the race or nation tend to cause
divergence in the ideals of beauty, since beauty is often held to consist
in the extreme development of these racial or national anthropological
features; and it would, indeed, appear that the full development of racial
characters indicates at the same time the full development of health and
vigor. We have further to consider that (3) in most countries an important
and usually essential element of beauty lies in the emphasis of the
secondary and tertiary sexual characters: the special characters of the
hair in woman, her breasts, her hips, and innumerable other qualities of
minor saliency, but all apt to be of significance from the point of view
of sexual selection. In addition we have (4) the factor of individual
taste, constituted by the special organization and the peculiar
experiences of the individual and inevitably affecting his ideal of
beauty. Often this individual factor is merged into collective shapes,
and in this way are constituted passing fashions in the matter of beauty,
certain influences which normally affect only the individual having become
potent enough to affect many individuals. Finally, in states of high
civilization and in individuals of that restless and nervous temperament
which is common in civilization, we have (5) a tendency to the appearance
of an exotic element in the ideal of beauty, and in place of admiring that
kind of beauty which most closely approximates to the type of their own
race men begin to be agreeably affected by types which more or less
deviate from that with which they are most familiar.

While we have these various and to some extent conflicting elements in a
man's ideal of feminine beauty, the question is still further complicated
by the fact that sexual selection in the human species is not merely the
choice of the woman by the man, but also the choice of the man by the
woman. And when we come to consider this we find that the standard is
altogether different, that many of the elements of beauty as it exists in
woman for man have here fallen away altogether, while a new and
preponderant element has to be recognized in the shape of a regard for
strength and vigor. This, as I have pointed out, is not a purely visual
character, but a tactile pressure character translated into visual terms.

When we have stated the sexual ideal we have not yet, however, by any
means stated the complete problem of human sexual selection. The ideal
that is desired and sought is, in a large measure, not the outcome of
experience; it is not even necessarily the expression of the individual's
temperament and idiosyncrasy. It may be largely the result of fortuitous
circumstances, of slight chance attractions in childhood, of accepted
traditions consecrated by romance. In the actual contacts of life the
individual may find that his sexual impulse is stirred by sensory stimuli
which are other than those of the ideal he had cherished and may even be
the reverse of them.

Beyond this, also, we have reason for believing that factors of a still
more fundamentally biological character, to some extent deeper even than
all these psychic elements, enter into the problem of sexual selection.
Certain individuals, apart altogether from the question of whether they
are either ideally or practically the most fit mates, display a greater
energy and achieve a greater success than others in securing partners.
These individuals possess a greater constitutional vigor, physical or
mental, which conduces to their success in practical affairs generally,
and probably also heightens their specifically philogamic activities.

Thus, the problem of human sexual selection is in the highest degree
complicated. When we gather together such scanty data of precise nature as
are at present available, we realize that, while generally according with
the results which the evidence not of a quantitative nature would lead us
to accept, their precise significance is not at present altogether clear.
It would appear on the whole that in choosing a mate we tend to seek
parity of racial and individual characters together with disparity of
secondary sexual characters. But we need a much larger number of groups of
evidence of varying character and obtained under varying conditions. Such
evidence will doubtless accumulate now that its nature is becoming defined
and the need for it recognized. In the meanwhile we are, at all events, in
a position to assert, even with the evidence before us, that now that the
real meaning of sexual selection is becoming clear its efficacy in human
evolution can no longer be questioned.




Manifestations resembling the kiss, whether with the object of expressing
affection or sexual emotion, are found among various animals much lower
than man. The caressing of the antennae practiced by snails and various
insects during sexual intercourse is of the nature of a kiss. Birds use
their bills for a kind of caress. Thus, referring to guillemots and their
practice of nibbling each other's feet, and the interest the mate always
takes in this proceeding, which probably relieves irritation caused by
insects, Edmund Selous remarks: "When they nibble and preen each other
they may, I think, be rightly said to cosset and caress, the expression
and pose of the bird receiving the benefit being often beatific."[196]
Among mammals, such as the dog, we have what closely resembles a kiss, and
the dog who smells, licks, and gently bites his master or a bitch,
combines most of the sensory activities involved in the various forms of
the human kiss.

As practiced by man, the kiss involves mainly either the sense of touch or
that of smell. Occasionally it involves to some extent both sensory

The tactile kiss is certainly very ancient and primitive. It is common
among mammals generally. The human infant exhibits, in a very marked
degree, the impulse to carry everything to the mouth and to lick or
attempt to taste it, possibly, as Compayre suggests,[198] from a memory of
the action of the lips protruded to seize the maternal nipple. The
affectionate child, as Mantegazza remarks,[199] not only applies inanimate
objects to its lips or tongue, but of its own impulse licks the people it
likes. Stanley Hall, in the light of a large amount of information he
obtained on this point, found that "some children insist on licking the
cheeks, necks, and hands of those they wish to caress," or like having
animals lick them.[200] This impulse in children may be associated with
the maternal impulse in animals to lick the young. "The method of licking
the young practiced by the mother," remarks S.S. Buckman, "would cause
licking to be associated with happy feelings. And, further, there is the
allaying of parasitical irritation which is afforded by the rubbing and
hence results in pleasure. It may even be suggested that the desire of the
mother to lick her young was prompted in the first place by a desire to
bestow on her offspring a pleasure she felt herself." The licking impulse
in the child may thus, it is possible, be regarded as the evanescent
manifestation of a more fundamental animal impulse,[201] a manifestation
which is liable to appear in adult life under the stress of strong sexual
emotion. Such an association is of interest if, as there is some reason to
believe, the kiss of sexual love originated as a development of the more
primitive kiss bestowed by the mother on her child, for it is sometimes
found that the maternal kiss is practiced where the sexual kiss is

The impulse to bite is also a part of the tactile element which lies at
the origin of kissing. As Stanley Hall notes, children are fond of biting,
though by no means always as a method of affection. There is, however, in
biting a distinctly sexual origin to invoke, for among many animals the
teeth (and among birds the bill) are used by the male to grasp the female
more firmly during intercourse. This point has been discussed in the
previous volume of these _Studies_ in reference to "Love and Pain," and
it is unnecessary to enter into further details here. The heroine of
Kleist's _Penthesilea_ remarks: "Kissing (Kuesse) rhymes with biting
(Bisse), and one who loves with the whole heart may easily confound the

The kiss, as known in Europe, has developed on a sensory basis that is
mainly tactile, although an olfactory element may sometimes coexist. The
kiss thus understood is not very widely spread and is not usually found
among rude and uncultured peoples. We can trace it in Aryan and Semitic
antiquity, but in no very pronounced form; Homer scarcely knew it, and the
Greek poets seldom mention it. Today it may be said to be known all over
Europe except in Lapland. Even in Europe it is probably a comparatively
modern discovery; and in all the Celtic tongues, Rhys states, there is no
word for "kiss," the word employed being always borrowed from the Latin
_pax_.[202] At a fairly early historic period, however, the Welsh Cymri,
at all events, acquired a knowledge of the kiss, but it was regarded as a
serious matter and very sparingly used, being by law only permitted on
special occasions, as at a game called rope-playing or a carousal;
otherwise a wife who kissed a man not her husband could be repudiated.
Throughout eastern Asia it is unknown; thus, in Japanese literature kisses
and embraces have no existence. "Kisses, and embraces are simply unknown
in Japan as tokens of affection," Lafcadio Hearn states, "if we except the
solitary fact that Japanese mothers, like mothers all over the world, lip
and hug their little ones betimes. After babyhood there is no more hugging
or kisses; such actions, except in the case of infants, are held to be
immodest. Never do girls kiss one another; never do parents kiss or
embrace their children who have become able to walk." This holds true, and
has always held true, of all classes; hand-clasping is also foreign to
them. On meeting after a long absence, Hearn remarks, they smile, perhaps
cry a little, they may even stroke each other, but that is all. Japanese
affection "is chiefly shown in acts of exquisite courtesy and
kindness."[203] Among nearly all of the black races of Africa lovers never
kiss nor do mothers usually kiss their babies.[204] Among the American
Indians the tactile kiss is, for the most part, unknown, though here and
there, as among the Fuegians, lovers rub their cheeks together.[205]
Kissing is unknown to the Malays. In North Queensland, however, Roth
states, kissing takes place between mothers (not fathers) and infants,
also between husbands and wives; but whether it is an introduced custom
Roth is unable to say; he adds that the Pitta-pitta language possesses a
word for kissing.[206]

It must be remarked, however, that in many parts of the world where the
tactile kiss, as we understand it, is usually said to be unknown, it still
exists as between a mother and her baby, and this seems to support the
view advocated by Lombroso that the lovers' kiss is developed from the
maternal kiss. Thus, the Angoni Zulus to the north of the Zambesi, Wiese
states, kiss their small children on both cheeks[207] and among the
Fuegians, according to Hyades, mothers kiss their small children.

Even in Europe the kiss in early mediaeval days was, it seems probable, not
widely known as an expression of sexual love; it would appear to have been
a refinement of love only practiced by the more cultivated classes. In the
old ballad of Glasgerion the lady suspected that her secret visitor was
only a churl, and not the knight he pretended to be, because when he came
in his master's place to spend the night with her he kissed her neither
coming nor going, but simply got her with child. It is only under a
comparatively high stage of civilization that the kiss has been emphasized
and developed in the art of love. Thus the Arabic author of the _Perfumed
Garden_, a work revealing the existence of a high degree of social
refinement, insists on the great importance of the kiss, especially if
applied to the inner part of the mouth, and he quotes a proverb that "A
moist kiss is better than a hasty coitus." Such kisses, as well as on the
face generally, and all over the body, are frequently referred to by
Hindu, Latin, and more modern erotic writers as among the most efficacious
methods of arousing love.[208]

A reason which may have stood in the way of the development of the kiss in
a sexual direction has probably been the fact that in the near East the
kiss was largely monopolized for sacred uses, so that its erotic
potentialities were not easily perceived. Among the early Arabians the
gods were worshiped by a kiss.[209] This was the usual way of greeting the
house gods on entering or leaving.[210] In Rome the kiss was a sign of
reverence and respect far more than a method of sexual excitation.[211]
Among the early Christians it had an all but sacramental significance. It
retains its ancient and serious meaning in many usages of the Western and
still more the Eastern Churches; the relics of saints, the foot of the
pope, the hands of bishops, are kissed, just as the ancient Greeks kissed
the images of the gods. Among ourselves we still have a legally recognized
example of the sacredness of the kiss in the form of taking an oath by
kissing the Testament.[212]

So far we have been concerned mainly with the tactile kiss, which is
sometimes supposed to have arisen in remote times to the east of the
Mediterranean--where the vassal kissed his suzerain and where the kiss of
love was known, as we learn from the Songs of Songs, to the Hebrews--and
has now conquered nearly the whole of Europe. But over a much larger part
of the world and even in one corner of Europe (Lapland, as well as among
the Russian Yakuts) a different kind of salutation rules, the olfactory
kiss. This varies in form in different regions and sometimes simulates a
tactile kiss, but, as it exists in a typical form in China, where it has
been carefully studied by d'Enjoy, it may be said to be made up of three
phases: (1) the nose is applied to the cheek of the beloved person; (2)
there is a long nasal inspiration accompanied by lowering of the eyelids;
(3) there is a slight smacking of the lips without the application of the
mouth to the embraced cheek. The whole process, d'Enjoy considers, is
founded on sexual desire and the desire for food, smell being the sense
employed in both fields. In the form described by d'Enjoy, we have the
Mongolian variety of the olfactory kiss. The Chinese regard the European
kiss as odious, suggesting voracious cannibals, and yellow mothers in the
French colonies still frighten children by threatening to give them the
white man's kiss. Their own kiss the Chinese regard as exclusively
voluptuous; it is only befitting as between lovers, and not only do
fathers refrain from kissing their children except when very young, but
even the mothers only give their children a rare and furtive kiss. Among
some of the hill-tribes of south-east India the olfactory kiss is found,
the nose being applied to the cheek during salutation with a strong
inhalation; instead of saying "Kiss me," they here say "Smell me." The
Tamils, I am told by a medical correspondent in Ceylon, do not kiss during
coitus, but rub noses and also lick each other's mouth and tongue. The
olfactory kiss is known in Africa; thus, on the Gambia in inland Africa
when a man salutes a woman he takes her hand and places it to his nose,
twice smelling the back of it. Among the Jekris of the Niger coast mothers
rub their babies with their cheeks or mouths, but they do not kiss them,
nor do lovers kiss, though they squeeze, cuddle, and embrace.[213] Among
the Swahilis a smell kiss exists, and very young boys are taught to raise
their clothes before women visitors, who thereupon playfully smell the
penis; the child who does this is said to "give tobacco."[214] Kissing of
any kind appears to be unknown to the Indians throughout a large part of
America: Im Thurn states that it is unknown to the Indians of Guiana, and
at the other end of South America Hyades and Deniker state that it is
unknown to the Fuegians. In Forth America the olfactory kiss is known to
the Eskimo, and has been noted among some Indian tribes, as the Blackfeet.
It is also known in Polynesia. At Samoa kissing was smelling.[215] In New
Zealand, also, the _hongi_, or nose-pressing, was the kiss of welcome, of
mourning, and of sympathy.[216] In the Malay archipelago, it is said, the
same word is used for "greeting" and "smelling." Among the Dyaks of the
Malay archipelago, however, Vaughan Stevens states that any form of
kissing is unknown.[217] In Borneo, Breitenstein tells us, kissing is a
kind of smelling, the word for smelling being used, but he never himself
saw a man kiss a woman; it is always done in private.[218]

The olfactory kiss is thus seen to have a much wider extension over the
world than the European (or Mediterranean) tactile kiss. In its most
complete development, however, it is mainly found among the people of
Mongolian race, or those yellow peoples more or less related to them.

The literature of the kiss is extensive. So far, however, as that
literature is known to me, the following list includes everything that may
be profitably studied: Darwin, _The Expression of the Emotions_; Ling
Roth, "Salutations," _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, November,
1889; K. Andree, "Nasengruss," _Ethnographische Parallelen_, second
series, 1889, pp. 223-227; Alfred Kirchhoff, "Vom Ursprung des Kuesses,"
_Deutsche Revue_, May, 1895; Lombroso, "L'Origine du Baiser," _Nouvelle
Revue_, 1897, p. 153; Paul d'Enjoy, "Le Baiser en Europe et en Chine,"
_Bulletin de la Societe d'Anthropologie_, Paris, 1897, fasc. 2. Professor
Nyrop's book, _The Kiss and its History_ (translated from the Danish by
W.F. Harvey), deals rather with the history of the kiss in civilization
and literature than with its biological origins and psychological


[196] E. Selous, _Bird Watching_, 1901, p. 191. This author adds: "It
seems probable indeed that the conferring a practical benefit of the kind
indicated may be the origin of the caress throughout nature."

[197] Tylor terms the kiss "the salute by tasting," and d'Enjoy defines it
as "a bite and a suction"; there seems, however, little evidence to show
that the kiss contains any gustatory element in the strict sense.

[198] Compayre, _L'Evolution intellectuelle et morale de l'enfant_, p. 9.

[199] Mantegazza, _Physiognomy and Expression_, p. 144.

[200] G. Stanley Hall, "The Early Sense of Self," _American Journal of
Psychology_, April, 1898, p. 361.

[201] In some parts of the world the impulse persists into adult life. Sir
S. Baker (_Ismailia_, p. 472) mentions licking the eyes as a sign of

[202] _Book of Common Prayer in Manx Gaelic_, edited by A.W. Moore and J.
Rhys, 1895.

[203] L. Hearn, _Out of the East_, 1895, p. 103.

[204] See, e.g., A.B. Ellis, _Tshi-speaking Peoples_, p. 288. Among the
Swahili the kiss is practiced, but exclusively between married people and
with very young children. Velten believes they learned it from the Arabs.

[205] Hyades and Deniker, _Mission Scientifique du Cap Horn_, vol. vii, p.

[206] W. Roth, _Ethnological Notes Among the Queensland Aborigines_, p.

[207] _Zeitschrift fuer Ethnologie_, 1900, ht. 5, p. 200.

[208] E.g., the _Kama Sutra_ of Vatsyayana, Bk. III, Chapter I.

[209] Hosea, Chapter xiii, v. 2; I Kings, Chapter xix, v. 18.

[210] Wellhausen, _Reste Arabischen Heidentums_, p. 109.

[211] The Romans recognized at least three kinds of kiss: the _osculum_,
for friendship, given on the face; the _basium_, for affection, given on
the lips; the _suavium_, given between the lips, reserved for lovers.

[212] In other parts of the world it would appear that the kiss sometimes
has a sacred or ritual character. Thus, according to Rev. J. Macdonald
(_Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, November, 1890, p. 118), it
is part of the initiation ceremony of a girl at her first menstruation
that the women of the village should kiss her on the cheek, and on the
mons veneris and labia.

[213] _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, August and November,
1898, p. 107.

[214] Velten, _Sitten und Gebraueche der Suaheli_, p. 142.

[215] Turner, _Samoa_, p. 45.

[216] Tregear, _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, 1889.

[217] _Zeitschrift fuer Ethnologie_, 1896, ht. 4, p. 272.

[218] Breitenstein, _21 Jahre in India_, vol. i, p. 224.



The histories here recorded are similar in character to those given in
Appendix B of the previous volume.

    HISTORY I.--C.D., clergyman, age, 34. Height about 5 ft. 8 in.
    Weight, 8st. 8lb. Complexion, fair. Physical infirmities, very
    myopic, tendency to consumption.

    "My family is of old lineage on both sides. My parents were
    normal and fairly healthy; but I consider that heredity, though
    not vitiated, is somewhat overrefined, and there is a neuropathic
    tendency, which has appeared in myself and in one or two other
    members of the family. As a child, I suffered, though not very
    frequently, from nocturnal enuresis. My sexual nature, though
    normal, has been keenly alive and sensitive as far back as I can
    remember; and as I look back I discern within myself in early
    childhood what I now understand to be a decided masochistic or
    passively algolagnic tendency. So far as I remember, this
    manifested itself in me in two aspects; one psychic or
    sentimental and free from carnality, expressing itself in
    imaginative visions such as the following: I used, to imagine
    myself kneeling before a young and beautiful woman and being
    sentenced by her to some punishment, and even threatened with
    death. At other times I would picture myself as a wounded soldier
    watched over on his sickbed by queenly women. These visions
    always included an imagination of something heroic in my own
    personality. No doubt they were the same kind of dreamings as are
    present in multitudes of imaginative children; they are only of
    interest in so far as a sexual element was present; and that was
    algolagnic in character.

    "I had a small fund of natural common sense; and my surroundings
    were not favorable to sentimental imaginings; consequently I
    believe I began to throw them off at an early age, though the
    temperament which produced them is still a part of my nature.

    "On the carnal side, the sexual instinct was decidedly
    algolagnic. Masturbation is one of my earliest recollections;
    indeed, it was not at first, so far as I remember, associated
    with any sexual ideas at all; but began as a reflex animal act. I
    do not remember its first occurrence. It soon, however, became
    associated in my mind with algolagnic excitement, giving rise to
    reveries which took the ordinary form of imagining oneself
    stripped and whipped, etc., by persons of the opposite sex. The
    _dramatis personae_ in my own algolagnic reveries were elderly
    women; somewhat strangely, I did not associate physical sexuality
    at this period with young and attractive women. If scientific
    light on these matters were generally available in the practical
    bringing up of children, persons in charge of young children
    might refrain from exciting an algolagnic tendency or doing
    anything calculated to awake sexual emotions prematurely. In my
    own case, I recollect acts performed by older persons in
    ignorance and thoughtlessness which undoubtedly tended to foster
    and strengthen my algolagnic instinct.

    "Little or nothing was done to prevent, discover, or remedy the
    pernicious habit into which I was falling unknowingly.
    Circumcision was perhaps little thought of in those days as a
    preventive of juvenile masturbation; at any rate, it was not
    resorted to in my case. I remember, indeed, that a nurse
    discovered that I was practicing masturbation, and I think she
    made a few half-hearted attempts to stop it. It was probably
    these attempts which gave me a growing feeling that there was
    something wrong about masturbation, and that it must be practiced
    secretly. But they were unsuccessful in their main object. The
    practice continued.

    "I went to school at the age of 10. There I came in contact
    almost without warning, with the ordinary lewdness and grossness
    of school conversation, and took to it readily. I soon became
    conversant with the theory of sexual relations; but never got the
    opportunity of sexual intercourse, and probably should have felt
    some moral restraint even had such opportunity presented itself,
    for coitus, however interesting it might be to talk about, was a
    bigger thing to practice than masturbation. I masturbated fairly
    frequently, occasionally producing two orgasms in quick
    succession. I seldom masturbated with the hand; my method was to
    lie face downward. There was probably little or no homosexuality
    at my first school. I never heard of it till later, and it was
    always repugnant to me, though surrounded with a certain morbid
    interest. Masturbation was discountenanced openly at the school,
    but was, I believe, extensively practiced, both at that school
    and at the two others I afterward attended. The boys often talked
    about the hygiene of it; and the general theory was that it was
    somehow physically detrimental; but I heard no arguments advanced
    sufficiently cogent to make me see the necessity for a real moral
    effort against the habit, though, as I neared puberty, I was
    indulging more moderately and with greater misgivings.

    "The fact of becoming acquainted with the theory of sexual
    intercourse tended to diminish the algolagnia, and to impel my
    sexual instinct into an ordinary channel. On one occasion
    circumstances brought me into close contact with a woman for
    about three or four weeks, I being a mere boy and she very much
    my senior. I felt sexually attracted by this woman, and allowed
    myself a degree of familiarity with her which I have since
    recognized as undue and have deeply regretted. It did not,
    however, go to the length of seduction, and I trust may have
    passed away without leaving any permanent harm. It should,
    indeed, be remarked here that I never knew a woman sexually till
    my marriage; and with the one exception mentioned I do not recall
    any instance of conduct on my part toward a woman which could be
    described as giving her an impulse downhill.

    "On the psychic side my sexual emotions awoke in early childhood;
    and though my love affairs as a boy were not frequent and were
    kept to myself, they attained a considerable degree of emotional
    power. Leaving out of account the precocious movements of the
    sexual instinct to which I have already referred as colored by
    psychic algolagnia, I may say that somewhat later, from the age
    of puberty and onward, I had three or four love affairs, devoid
    of any algolagnic tendency, and considerably more developed on
    the psychic and emotional, than on the physical, side. In fact,
    my experience has been that when deeply in love, when the mind is
    full of the love ecstasy, the physical element of sexuality is
    kept--doubtless only temporarily--in abeyance.

    "To return now to the subject of masturbation. Here befell the
    chief moral struggle of my early life; and no terms that I have
    at command will adequately describe the stress of it.

    "A casual remark heard one day as I was arriving at puberty
    convinced me that there must be truth in the vague schoolboy
    theory that masturbation was _weakening_. It was to the effect
    that the evil results of masturbation practiced in boyhood would
    manifest themselves in later life. I then realized that I must
    relinquish masturbation, and I set myself to fight it; but with
    grave misgivings that, owing to the early age at which I had
    formed the habit, I had already done myself serious harm.

    "Before many weeks had passed, I had formed a resolution to
    abstain, which I kept thereafter without--so far as I
    remember--more than one conscious lapse into my former habit.
    Here it must be said at once that, so far as touches my own
    experience of a struggle of this kind, the religious factor is of
    primary importance as strengthening and sustaining the moral
    effort which has to be made. I am writing an account of my
    sexual, not my spiritual, experiences; but I should not only be
    untrue to my convictions, but unable to give an accurate and
    penetrating survey of the development of my sex life, unless I
    were clearly to state that it was to a large extent on that life
    that my strongest and most valuable religious experiences
    arose.[219] It is to the endeavor to discipline the sexual
    instinct, and to grapple with the difficulties and anxieties of
    the sex life, that I owe what I possess of spiritual religion, of
    the consciousness that my life has been brought into contact with
    Divine love and power.

    "My early habits, after they were broken off, left me none the
    less a legacy of sexual neurasthenia and a slight varicocele. My
    nocturnal pollutions were overfrequent; and I brooded over them,
    being too reticent and too much afraid of exposure at school and
    possible expulsion to confide in a doctor. Far better for me had
    I done so, for a few years later I received the truest kindness
    and sympathy in regard to sexual matters at the hands of more
    than one medical man. But while at school I was afraid to speak
    of the trouble which so unnerved and depressed me; and as a
    consequence my morbid fears grew stronger, being intensified by
    generalities which I met with from time to time in my reading on
    the subject of the punishment which nature metes out to impurity.

    "On leaving school my sex life continued for some years on the
    same lines: a struggle for chastity, morbid fears and regrets
    about the past, efforts to cope with the neurasthenia, and a
    haunting dread of coming insanity. These troubles were increased
    by my sedentary life. However I obtained medical aid, and put as
    good a face on matters as possible.

    "But the most trying thing of all has yet to be mentioned--the
    discovery that I had not yet got fully clear of the habit of
    masturbation. I had, indeed, repudiated it as far as my conscious
    waking moments were concerned, even though strongly impelled by
    sexual desire; but one night, about a year after I had
    relinquished the practice, I found myself again giving way to it
    in those moments between sleeping and waking when the will is
    only semiconscious. It was as if a race took place for
    wakefulness between my physical instinct, on the one side, and my
    moral sense and inhibitory nerves on the other; and very
    frequently the physical instinct won. This, perhaps, is not an
    uncommon experience, but it distressed me greatly; and I never
    felt safe from it until marriage. I resorted to various
    expedients to combat this tendency, at length having to tie
    myself in a certain position every night with a cord round my
    legs, so as to render it impossible to turn over upon my face.

    "In my early manhood the strain on my constitution was
    considerable from causes other than the sexual neurasthenia,
    which, indeed, I am now well aware I exaggerated in importance.
    Medical advisers whom I consulted in that period assured me that
    this was so; and, though at the time I often thought that they
    were concealing the real facts from me out of kindness, my own
    reading has since convinced me that they spoke nothing but
    scientific truth.

    "The years went on. I went through a university course, and in
    spite of my poor health took a good degree. The agony of my
    struggle for chastity seemed to come to a climax about four years
    later when for a long period, partly owing to overstudy and
    partly to the sexual strain, I fell into a condition of severe
    nervous exhaustion, one of the most distressing symptoms of which
    was insomnia. The dreaded cloud of insanity seemed to come
    closer. I had to use alcohol freely at nights; and might by now
    have become a drunkard, had I not been casually--or I must say,
    Providentially--directed to the common sense plan of measuring my
    whisky in a dram glass; so that the alcohol could not steal a
    march upon me.

    "This period was one of acute mental suffering. One cause of the
    nervous tension was--as I have now no doubt--the need of healthy
    sexual intercourse. I proved this eventually. My circumstances,
    which had long been adverse to marriage, at length were shaped in
    that direction. I renewed acquaintance with a lady whom I had
    known well some years before; and our friendship ripened until,
    after much perplexity on my side, owing to the uncertainty of my
    health and prospects, I decided that it was right to speak. We
    were married after a few months; and I realized that I had gained
    an excellent wife. We did not come together sexually for some
    nights after marriage; but, having once tasted the pleasure of
    the marriage bed, I have to admit that, partly owing to ignorance
    of the hygiene of marriage, I was for some time rather
    unrestrained in conjugal relations, requiring intercourse as
    often as eight or nine times a month. This was not unnatural when
    one considers that I had now for the first time free access to a
    woman, after a long and weary struggle to preserve chastity.
    Married life, however, tends naturally--or did so in my case--to
    regulate desire; and when I began to understand the ethics and
    hygiene of sex, as I did a year or two after marriage, I was
    enabled to exercise increasing self-restraint. We are now sparing
    in our enjoyment of conjugal pleasure. We have had no children;
    and I attribute this chiefly to the remaining sexual weakness in
    myself.[220] But I may say that not only my sexual power, but my
    nerve-power and general health, were greatly improved by
    marriage; and though I have fallen back, the last year or two,
    into a poor state of health, the cause of this is probably
    overwork rather than anything to do with sex. Not but what it
    must be said that, had it not been for the juvenile masturbation
    superadded to a neuropathic temperament, my constitution would no
    doubt have endured the general strain of life better than it has
    done. The algolagnia, being one of the congenital conditions of
    my sexual instinct, must be considered fundamental, and certainly
    has not been eliminated. If I were to allow myself indulgence in
    algolagnic reveries they would even now excite me without
    difficulty; but I have systematically discouraged them, so that
    they give me little or no practical trouble. My erotic dreams,
    which years ago were (to the best of my remembrance) frequently
    algolagnic, are now almost invariably normal.

    "My conjugal relations have always been on the lines of strictly
    normal sexuality. I have a deep sense of the obligations of
    monogamous marriage, besides a sincere affection for my wife;
    consequently I repress as far as possible all sexual
    inclinations, such as will come involuntarily sometimes, toward
    other women.

    "From what I have disclosed, it will be seen that I am but a
    frail man; but for many years I have striven honestly and hard to
    discipline sexuality within myself, and to regulate it according
    to right reason, pure hygiene, and the moral law; and I can but
    hope and believe that the Divine Power in which I have endeavored
    to trust will in the future, as it has done in the past, working
    by natural methods and through the current events of my life,
    amend and control my sex life and conduct it to safe and
    honorable issues."

    HISTORY II.--A.B., married, good general health, dark hair, fair
    complexion, short-sighted, and below medium height. Parents both
    belong to healthy families, but the mother suffered from nerves
    during early years of married life, and the father, a very
    energetic and ambitious man, was cold, passionless, and
    unscrupulous. A.B. is the oldest child; two of the brothers and
    sisters are slightly abnormal, nervously. But, so far as is
    known, none of the family has ever been sexually abnormal.

    A.B. was a bright, intelligent child, though inclined to be
    melancholy (and in later years prone to self-analysis). At
    preparatory school was fairly forward in studies, at public
    school somewhat backward, at University suddenly took a liking to
    intellectual pursuits. Throughout he was slack at games. Has
    never been able to learn to swim from nervousness. Can whistle
    well. Has always been fond of reading, and would like to have
    been an author by profession. He married at 24, and has had two
    children, both of whom showed congenital physical abnormalities.

    Before the age of 7 or 8 A.B. can remember various trifling
    incidents. "One of the games I used to play with my sister," he
    writes, "consisted in pretending we were 'father and mother' and
    were relieving ourselves at the w.c. We would squat down in
    various parts of the room, prolong the simulated act, and talk. I
    do not remember what our conversation was about, nor whether I
    had an erection. I used also to make water from a balcony into
    the garden, and in other unusual places.

    "The first occasion on which I can recollect experiencing
    sensations or emotions similar in character to later and more
    developed feelings of desire was at the age of about 7 or 8, when
    I was a dayboy at a large school in a country town and absolutely
    innocent as to deed, thought, or knowledge. I fell in love with a
    boy with whom I was brought in contact in my class, about my own
    age. I remember thinking him pretty. He paid me no attention. I
    had no distinct desire, except a wish to be near him, to touch
    him, and to kiss him. I blushed if I suddenly saw him, and
    thought of him when absent and speculated on my chances of seeing
    him again. I was put into a state of high ecstasy when he invited
    me to join him and some friends one summer evening in a game of

    "At the age of 8 I was told by my father's groom where babies
    came from and how they were produced. (I already knew the
    difference in sexual organs, as my sister and I were bathed in
    the same room.) He told me no details about erection, semen, etc.
    Nor did he take any liberties with me. I used to notice him
    urinating; he used to push back the foreskin and I thought his
    penis large.

    "When about 8 years old the nursemaid told me that the boy at her
    last place had intercourse with his sister. I thought it
    disgusting. About a year later I told the nurse I thought the
    story of Adam and Eve was not true and that when Eve gave Adam
    the apple he had intercourse with her and she was punished by
    having children. I don't know if I had thought this out, or if it
    had been suggested to me by others. This nurse used often to talk
    about my 'tassel.'

    "A family of several brothers went to the same school with me,
    and we used to indulge in dirty stories, chiefly, however, of the
    w.c. type rather than sexual.

    "When I was about 10 I learned much from my father's coachman. He
    used to talk about the girls he had had intercourse with, and how
    he would have liked this with my nursemaid.

    "A year later I went to a large day school. I think most of the
    boys, if not nearly all, were very ignorant and innocent in
    sexual matters. The only incident in this connection I can
    recollect is asking a boy to let me see his penis; he did so.

    "During the summer holidays, at a watering place I attended a
    theatrical performance and fell in love with a girl of about 12
    who acted a part. I bought a photograph of her, which I kept and
    kissed for several years after. About the same time I thought
    rather tenderly of a girl of my own age whose parents knew mine.
    I remember feeling that I should like to kiss her. Once I
    furtively touched her hair.

    "When I was 12 I was sent to a small preparatory boarding
    school, in the country. During the holidays I used to talk about
    sexual things with my father's footman. He must have told me a
    good deal. I used to have erections. One evening, when I was in
    bed and everyone else out (my mother and the children in the
    country) he came up to my room and tried to put his hand on my
    penis. I had been thinking of sexual matters and had an erection.
    I resisted, but he persisted, and when he succeeded in touching
    me I gave in. He then proceeded to masturbate me. I sank back,
    overcome by the pleasant sensation. He then stopped and I went on
    myself. In the meantime he had taken out his penis and
    masturbated himself before me until the orgasm occurred. I was
    disgusted at the sight of his large organ and the semen. He then
    left me. I could hardly sleep from excitement. I felt I had been
    initiated into a great and delightful mystery.

    "I at once fell into the habit of masturbation. It was some
    months before I could produce the orgasm; at about 13 a slight
    froth came; at about 14 a little semen. I do not know how
    frequently I did it--perhaps once or twice a week. I used to feel
    ashamed of myself afterward. I told the man I was doing it and he
    expressed surprise I had not known about it before he told me. He
    warned me to stop doing it or it would injure my health. I
    pretended later that I had stopped doing it.

    "I practiced solitary masturbation for some months. At first the
    semen was small in amount and watery.

    "I had not at this time ever succeeded in drawing the foreskin
    below the 'corona.' After masturbation I would sometimes feel
    local pain in the penis, sometimes pains in the testicles, and
    generally a feeling of shame, but not, I think, any lassitude.
    The shame was a vague sense of discomfort at having done what I
    knew others would regard as dirty. I also experienced fears that
    I was injuring my health.

    "It was not long before I found other boys at the preparatory
    school with whom I talked of sexual things and in some cases
    proceeded to acts. The boys were between the ages of 9 and 14;
    they left at 14 or 15 for the public schools. We slept in
    bedrooms--several in one room.

    "There was no general conversation on sexual matters. Few of the
    boys knew anything about things--perhaps 7 or 8 out of 40. Before
    describing my experiences at the school I may mention that I
    cannot remember having at this period any wish to experience
    heterosexual intercourse; I knew as yet nothing of homosexual
    practices; and I did not have, except in one case, any love or
    affection for any of the boys.

    "One night, in my bedroom--there were about six of us--we were
    talking till rather late. My recollection commences with being
    aware that all the boys were asleep except myself and one other,
    P. (the son of a clergyman), who was in a bed at exactly the
    opposite end of the room. I suppose we must have been talking
    about this sort of thing, for I vividly remember having an
    erection, and suddenly--as if by premonition--getting out of my
    bed, and, with heart beating, going softly over to P.'s bed. He
    exhibited no surprise at my presence; a few whispered words took
    place; I placed my hand on his penis, and found he had an
    erection. I started masturbating him, but he said he had just
    finished. I then suggested, getting into bed with him. (I had
    never heard at that time of such a thing being done, the idea
    arose spontaneously.) He said it was not safe, and placed his
    hand on my penis, I think with the object of satisfying and
    getting rid of me. He masturbated me till the orgasm occurred.

    "I had no further relations with him, except on one occasion,
    shortly afterward, when one day, in the w.c. he asked me to
    masturbate him. I did so. He did not offer to do the same to me.

    "He was a delicate, feeble boy; not good at work; womanish in his
    ways; inclined to go in for petty bullying, until a boy showed
    fight, when he discovered himself to be an arrant coward. Four or
    five years later I met him at the university. His greeting was
    cool. My next affair was with a boy who was about my age (13),
    strong, full-blooded, coarse, always in 'hot water.' He was the
    son of the headmaster of one of the best-known public schools. It
    was reported that two brothers had been expelled from this public
    school for what we called 'beastliness.' He told me his older
    brother used to have intercrural intercourse with him. This was
    the first I had heard of this. We used to masturbate mutually. I
    had, however, no affection or desire for him.

    "With E., another boy, I had no relations, but I remember him as
    the first person of the same sex for whom I experienced love. He
    was a small, fair, thin, and little boy, some two years younger
    than myself, so my inferior in the social hierarchy of a school.

    "At the end of my last term I had two disappointments. I was
    beaten by a younger and clever boy for the first place in the
    school, and also beaten by one point in the competition for the
    Athletic Cup by a stronger boy who had only come to the school
    that very term. However, as a consolation prize, and as I was
    leaving, the headmaster gave me a second prize. This soothed my
    hurt feelings, and I remember, just after the 'head' had read out
    the prizes, on the last day of term, E., coming up to me, putting
    his arm on my shoulder, looking at me rather pensively, and in a
    voice that thrilled me and made me wish to kiss and hug him, tell
    me he was so glad I had got a prize and that it was a shame that
    other chap had beaten me for the cup.

    "I was three years (aged 12 to 15) at the preparatory school. I
    started in the bottom form and ended second in the school. My
    reports were generally good, and I was keen to do well in work. I
    was considerably influenced by the 'head.' He was a clergyman,
    but a man of wide reading, broad opinion, great scholarship, and
    great enthusiasm. We became very friendly.

    "During the holidays I now first practiced intercrural
    intercourse with a younger brother. I started touching his penis,
    and causing erections, when he was about 5. Afterward I got him
    to masturbate me and I masturbated him; I used to get him into
    bed with me. On one occasion I spontaneously (never having heard
    of such a thing) made him take my penis in his mouth.

    "This went on for several years. When I was about 16 and he about
    10, the old family nurse spoke to me about it. She told me he had
    complained of my doing it. I was in great fear that my parents
    might hear of it. I went to him; told him I was sorry, but I had
    not understood he disliked it, but that I would not do it again.

    "About a year later (having persisted in this promise) I made
    overtures to him, but he refused. I then commended his conduct,
    and said I knew he was quite right, and begged him to refuse
    again if I should ever suggest it. I did not ever suggest it
    again. For many years I bitterly reproached myself for having
    corrupted him. However, I do not think any harm has been done
    him. But my self-reproaches have caused me to feel I owe some
    reparation to him. I also have more affection for him than for my
    other brothers and sisters.

    "At the age of 15 I went to one of the large public schools. I
    was fairly forward for my age, and entered high. But I made small
    progress. I had bad reports; I was 'slack in games,' and not
    popular among the boys. In fact, I stood still, so that when I
    left I was backward in comparison with other boys of even less
    natural intelligence.

    "The teaching was certainly bad. Moreover, I had not any friends,
    and this made me very sensitive. It was to a great extent my
    fault. When I first went there I was taken up by a set above
    me--boys who were 'senior' to me in standing. When they left I
    found myself alone.

    "My unpopularity was increased by my being considered to put on
    'side'; also because I paid attention to my dress.

    "At the public school I had homosexual relations with various
    boys, usually without any passion. With one boy, however, I was
    deeply in love for over a year; I thought of him, dreamed of him,
    would have been content only to kiss him. But my courtship met
    with no success.

    "When carrying on with other boys the desire to reach the crisis
    was not always strong, perhaps out of shyness or modesty.
    Occasionally I had intercrural connection, which gave me the
    first intimation of what intercourse with a woman was like. When
    I masturbated in solitude I used to continue till the orgasm.

    "My housemaster one day sent for me and said he had walked
    through my cubicle and noticed a stain on the sheet. At this time
    I used to have nocturnal emissions. I cannot remember whether on
    this occasion the stain was due to one, or to masturbation. But I
    imagined that one did not have 'wet dreams' unless one
    masturbated. So when he went on to say that this was a proof that
    I was immoral I acknowledged I masturbated. He then told me I
    would injure my health--possibly 'weaken my heart,' or 'send
    myself mad'; he said that he would ask me to promise never to do
    it again.

    "I promised. I left humiliated and ashamed of myself; also
    generally frightened. He used to send for me every now and then,
    and ask me if I had kept my promise. For some months I did. Then
    I relapsed, and told him when he asked me. Ultimately he ceased
    sending for me--apparently convinced either that I was cured or
    that I was incorrigible.

    "A year or so afterward he discovered in my study (for I was now
    in the upper school and had a study) a French photograph that a
    boy had given me, entitled '_Qui est dans ma chambre?_' It
    represented a man going by mistake into the wrong bedroom; inside
    the room was a woman, in nightdress, in an attitude that
    suggested she had just been relieving herself. My housemaster
    told me the picture was terribly indecent, and that, taken with
    what he knew of my habits, it showed I was not a safe boy to be
    in the school. He added that he did not wish to make trouble at
    home, but that he advised me to get my parents to remove me at
    the end of that term, instead of the following term, when, in the
    ordinary course of things, I should have left.

    "I wrote to my people to say I was miserable at school, and I was
    removed at the end of that term.

    "My first case of true heterosexual passion was with a girl
    called D., whom I first knew when she was about 16. My family and
    hers were friendly. My attraction to her soon became a matter of
    common knowledge and joking to members of my family. She was a
    dark, passionate-looking child, with large eyes that--to
    me--seemed full of an inner knowledge of sexual mysteries.
    Precocious, vain, jealous, untruthful--those were qualities in
    her that I myself soon recognized. But the very fact that she was
    not conventionally 'goody-goody' proved an attraction to me.

    "I never openly made love to her, but I delighted to be near her.
    Our ages were sufficiently separated for this to be noticeable. I
    dreamed of her, and my highest ideal of blessedness was to kiss
    her and tell her I loved her. I heard that she had been
    discovered talking indecently in a w.c. to some little boys, sons
    of a friend of my family's. The knowledge of this precocity on
    her part intensified my fascination for her.

    "When I left home to return to school I kissed her--the only
    time. Absence did nothing to diminish my affection. I thought of
    her all day long, at work or at play. I wrote her a letter--not
    openly passionate, but my real feelings toward her must have been
    apparent. I found out afterward that her mother opened the

    "When I returned home for the holidays her mother asked me not;
    to write her any letters and not to pay attentions to her, as I
    might 'spoil her.' I promised. I was, of course, greatly

    "D. used to come to our house to see my younger sister. She had
    clearly been warned by her mother not to allow me to speak to
    her. I was too nervous to make any advances; besides, I had
    promised. As I grew older, my passion died out. I have hardly
    ever seen her since. She married some years ago. I still retain
    sentimental feelings toward her.

    "I was now 18; I had stopped growing and was fairly broad and
    healthy. Intellectually I was rather precocious, though not
    ambitious. But I was no good at games, had no tastes for physical
    exercises, and no hobbies.

    "During the holidays, in my last year at school, I had gone to
    the Royal Aquarium with a school companion. This was followed by
    one or two visits to the Empire Theatre. It was then that I first
    discovered that sexual intercourse took place outside the limits
    of married life. On one occasion my friend talked to one of the
    women who were walking about. This same friend spoke to a
    prostitute at Oxford. (At this time I went up to the university.)
    Once or twice I met this girl. She used to ask about my friend.
    My feelings toward her were a combination of admiration for her
    physical beauty, a sense of the 'mystery' of her life, and pity
    for her isolated position.

    "On the whole, my first university term produced considerable
    improvement in me. I began to be interested in my work and to
    read a fair amount of general literature. I learned to bicycle
    and to row. I also made one intimate friend.

    "In my first holiday I went to the Empire and made the
    acquaintance of a girl there, W.H. She attracted me by her quiet
    appearance. I eventually made arrangements to pay her a visit. My
    apprehensions consisted of: 1. Fear of catching venereal disease.
    This I decided to safeguard by using a 'French letter.' 2. Fear
    that she might have a 'bully.'

    "The girl showed no sexual desire; but at that time this did not
    attract my attention.

    "I got very much 'gone' on her, paid her several visits, gave her
    some presents I could ill afford, and felt very distressed when
    she informed me she was to be married and therefore could not see
    me any more.

    "My experiences with prostitutes cover a period of twelve years.
    During three years of this period I was continually in their
    company. I have had intercourse with some two dozen; in some
    cases only once; in others on numerous occasions. They have
    usually been of the class that frequent Piccadilly, St. James
    Restaurant, the Continental Hotel, and the Dancing Clubs. Usual
    fee, L2 for the night; in one case, L5.

    "1. Not one of them, as far as I knew, was a drunkard.

    "2. As a rule, they were not mercenary or dishonest.

    "3. In their language and general behavior they compared
    favorably with respectable women.

    "4. I never caught venereal disease.

    "5. I twice caught pediculi.

    "6. I did not find them, as a rule, very sensual or fond of
    indecent talk. As a rule, they objected to stripping naked; they
    did not touch my organs; they did not suggest masturbation,
    sodomy, or _fellatio_. They seldom exhibited transports, but the
    better among them seemed sentimental and affectionate.

    "7. Their accounts of their first fall were nearly always the
    same. They got to know a 'gentleman,' often by his addressing
    them in the street; he took them about to dinners and theatres;
    they were quite innocent and even ignorant; on one occasion they
    drank too much; and before they knew what was happening they were
    no longer virgins. They do not, however, apparently round on the
    man or expose him or refuse to have anything more to do with him.

    "8. They state--in common with the outwardly 'respectable' women
    whom I have had a chance of catechising--that before the first
    intercourse they did not feel any conscious desire for
    intercourse and hardly devoted any thought to it, that it was
    very painful the first time, and that some time elapsed before
    they commenced to derive pleasure from it or to experience the

    "E.B. was the second woman I had intercourse with. She was a
    prostitute, but very young (about 18) and had only been in London
    a few months. I met her first in the St. James Restaurant. I
    spoke a few words to her. The next day I saw her in the
    Burlington Arcade. I was not much attracted to her; she was
    pretty, in a coarse, buxom style; vulgar in manners, voice, and
    dress. She asked me to go home with her; I refused. She pressed
    me; I said I had no money. She still urged me, just to drive home
    with her and talk to her while she dressed for the evening. I
    consented. We drove to lodgings in Albany Street. We went in. She
    proceeded to kiss me. I remained cold, and told her again I had
    no money. She then said: 'That does not matter. You remind me of
    a boy I love. I want you to be my fancy boy.' I was flattered by
    this. I saw a good deal of her. She was sentimental. I never gave
    her any money. When I had some, she refused to take it, but
    allowed me to spend a little in buying her a present. On the
    night before I left London she wept. She wrote me illiterate, but
    affectionate letters. One day she wrote to me that she was to be
    kept by a man, but that she had made it a condition with him that
    she should be allowed to have me. I had never been in love with
    her, because of her vulgarity. I therefore took the earliest
    opportunity of letting matters cool, by not writing often, etc.
    The next thing I remember was my fascination, a few months later,
    for S.H.

    "She was not a regular prostitute. She had taken a very minor
    part in light opera. She was American by birth, young, slim, and
    spoke like a lady. Her hair was dyed; her breasts padded. She
    acted sentiment, but was less affectionate than E.B. I met her
    when she was out of a job. I gave her L2 whenever I met her. She
    was not mercenary. She was sensual. I became very much in love
    with her. I discovered her, however, writing letters to a fellow
    whom I had met one day when I was walking with her. He was only
    an acquaintance, but the brother of my most intimate friend. What
    I objected to was that in this letter to him she protested she
    did not care for me, but could not afford to give me up. She had
    to plead guilty, but I was so fascinated by her I still kept in
    with her, for a time, until she was kept by a man, and I had
    found other women to interest me.

    "Owing to the strict regulations made by the university
    authorities, prostitutes find it hard to make a living there, and
    I never had anything to do with one. My adventures were among the
    shopgirl class, and were of a comparatively innocent nature. One
    of them, however, M.S., a very undemonstrative shopgirl, was the
    only girl not a prostitute with whom I had so far had

    "About this time I made the acquaintance of three other
    prostitutes, who, however, were nice, gentle, quiet girls,
    neither vulgar nor mercenary. A night passed with them always
    meant to me much more than mere intercourse. They
    were--especially two of them--of a sentimental nature, and would
    go to sleep in my arms. There was, on my part, not any passion,
    but a certain sympathy with them, and pity and affection. I
    remained faithful to the first, J.H., until she was kept by a
    man, and gave up her gentlemen friends. Then came D.V. She got in
    the family way and left London. Last, M.P. She was not pretty,
    but a good figure, well dressed, a bright conversationalist, and
    an intelligent mind. Her regular price for the night was L5, but
    when she got to know one she would take one for less and take
    one 'on tick.' She was very sensual. On one occasion, between 11
    P.M. and about midday the following day I experienced the orgasm
    eleven or twelve times.

    "During term time I was often prevented from having women by want
    of money and absence from London. I considered myself lucky if I
    could have a woman once or twice a month. My allowance was not
    large enough to admit of such luxuries; and I was only able to do
    what I did by being economical in my general expenditure and
    living, and by running up bills for whatever I could get on
    credit. I lived in the hopes of picking up 'amateurs' who would
    give me what I wanted for the love of it and without payment. My
    efforts were not very successful at present, except in the case
    of M.S. I considered myself very lucky in having discovered her,
    and I should have stuck to her for longer but for the rival
    attraction of another. There was, however, no deep sentiment on
    either side.

    "But in order to preserve a continuity in my account of the
    women, I have left out two cases of temporary reversion to
    homosexual practices. During the periods when I could not get a
    woman I had recourse once more to masturbation. At times I had
    'wet dreams' in which boys figured; and my thoughts, in waking
    hours, sometimes reverted to memories of my school experiences. I
    think, however, that I should have preferred a woman."

    The homosexual reversions were as follows:--

    "1. I had arranged to meet a shopgirl one evening, outside the
    town. She did not turn up. The meeting place was a railway
    bridge. Waiting there too, a few feet from me, was a boy of about
    15. He was employed (I afterward found) by a gardener, and was
    waiting to meet his brother, who was engaged on the line. I got
    into casual conversation with him, and suddenly found myself
    wondering whether he ever masturbated. With a feeling, that I can
    only describe by calling it an intuition, I moved nearer him, and
    asked: 'Do you ever play with yourself?' He did not seem
    surprised at the abruptness of my question, and answered 'yes.' I
    thereupon touched his penis, and _found he had an erection_! I
    suggested retiring to a bench that was near. We sat down. I
    masturbated him till he experienced the orgasm; then
    intercrurally. I gave him a shilling, and said good night.

    "2. During my last summer at the university I took to gardening.
    There was a small piece of garden behind the house in which I had
    lodgings. My landlady suggested getting a cousin of hers,
    employed by a nurseryman, to supply me with plants, etc. He was a
    youth of about 16 or 17, tall, dark, not bad favored in looks. I
    forget how many times I saw him--not many, perhaps twice or
    thrice; but one day, when he came to see me in my room, about
    something connected with the garden, I gave him some old clothes
    of mine. He was a great deal taller than myself, and I suggested
    his trying on the trousers to see if they would fit. I do not
    know whether I made this suggestion with any ulterior motive or
    whether I had ever before thought of him in connection with any
    sexual relations. I only know that once more, as if guided by
    instinct, I felt he would not rebuff me, although certainly no
    indecent talk had ever taken place between us. I pretended to
    help him to pull up the trousers, and let my hand touch his
    penis. He did not resist; and I felt his penis for a few seconds.
    I then proposed he should come upstairs to my bedroom. No one was
    in the house. We went up. He did not at first have an erection. I
    asked why. He said 'because you are strange to me.' He then felt
    my penis. Eventually we mutually masturbated one another. I gave
    him half a crown.

    "Some short time afterward he came again to the house. On this
    occasion I attempted _fellatio_. I don't think I had at that time
    ever heard of such a practice. He said, however, he did not like
    it. He masturbated intercrurally. He said he had never done this
    before, although he had had girls. (The other boy also told me he
    had had girls.)

    "3. On another occasion I was out bicycling. A boy, of about 10
    years of age, offered me a bunch of violets for a penny. I told
    him I would give him a shilling to pick me a large bunch. I am
    not sure if I had any ulterior motive. He proceeded into a wood
    on the side of the road; I dismounted from my machine and
    followed him. He was a pretty, dark boy. He made water. I went up
    to him and asked him to let me feel his penis. He at once jumped
    away, and ran off shrieking. I was frightened, mounted my
    bicycle, and rode as fast as I could home.

    "There was no sentiment in the above cases. It is also to be
    noted that in neither instance did I make any arrangements to see
    the person again. As far as I can remember, when once I was
    satisfied I felt disgust for my act. In the case of women this
    was never so.

    "Two of the women described in the foregoing pages stand out
    above the others. Perhaps I have not sufficiently shown that in
    the cases of W.H. and S.H. I felt a considerable degree of
    _passion_. W.H. was the first woman with whom I had had
    intercourse; this invested her in my heart, with a peculiar
    sentiment. In neither case can I be accused of fickleness.
    Indeed, I may say that up to this time I had had no opportunity
    of being fickle. I never saw enough, or had enough, of a woman to
    get a surfeit of her.

    "The case I now come to presents the features of the cases of
    W.H. and S.H. in a stronger form. I was then 20; I have since
    then married; I am a father; my experiences have been many and
    varied; but still I must confess that no other woman has ever
    stirred my emotions more than--I doubt if as much as--D.C. Up to
    date, if there has been any grand passion in my life, it is my
    love for her. D.C., when I got to know her--by talking to her in
    the street--was a girl of about 20. She was short and plump; dark
    hair; dark, mischievous eyes; a fair complexion; small features;
    quiet manners, and a sensual _ensemble_. I do not know what her
    father was. He was dead, her mother kept a university lodging
    house. She spoke and behaved like a lady. She dressed quietly;
    was absolutely unmercenary; her intelligence--i.e., her
    intellectual calibre--was not great. Her master-passion was one
    thing. The first evening I walked out with her she put her hand
    down on my penis, before I had even kissed her, and proposed
    intercourse. I was surprised, almost embarrassed; she herself led
    me to a wall, and standing up made me do it.

    "Next day we went away for the day together. I may say she was
    _always_ ready and never satisfied. She was sensual rather than
    sentimental. She was ready to shower her favors anywhere and to
    anyone. My feelings toward her soon became affectionate and
    sentimental, and then passionate. I thought of nothing else all
    day long; wrote her long letters daily; simply lived to see her.

    "I found she was engaged to be married. Her _fiance_, a
    schoolmaster, himself used to have intercourse with her, but he
    had taken a religious turn and thought it was wicked to do it
    until they married. I had intercourse with her on every possible
    occasion: in private rooms at hotels, in railway carriages, in a
    field, against a wall, and--when the holidays came--she stayed a
    night with me in London. She had apparently no fear of getting in
    the family way, and never used any precaution. Sensual as she
    was, she did not show her feelings by outward demonstration.

    "On one occasion she proposed _fellatio_. She said she had done
    it to her _fiance_ and liked it. This is the only case I have
    known of a woman wishing to do it for the love of it.

    "The emotional tension on my nerves--the continual jealousy I was
    in, the knowledge that before long she would marry and we must
    part--eventually caused me to get ill. She never told me she
    loved me more than any other man; yet, owing to my importunity,
    she saw much more of me than anyone else. It came to the ears of
    her _fiance_ that she was in my company a great deal; there was a
    meeting of the three of us--convened at his wish--at which she
    had formally, before him, to say 'good-bye' to me. Yet we still
    continued to meet and to have intercourse.

    "Then the date of her marriage drew near. She wrote me saying that
    she could not see me any more. I forced myself, however, on her,
    and our relations still continued. Her elder sister interviewed
    me and said she would inform the authorities unless I gave her
    up; a brother, too, came to see me and made a row.

    "I had what I seriously intended to be a last meeting with her.
    But after that she came up to London to see me, we went to a
    hotel together. We arranged to see one another again, but she did
    not write. I had now left the university. I heard she was

    "It was now four years since I had first had intercourse with a
    woman. During this time I was almost continually under the
    influence, either of a definite love affair or of a general
    lasciviousness and desire for intercourse with women. My
    character and life were naturally affected by this. My studies
    were interfered with; I had become extravagant and had run into
    debt. It is worthy of note that I had never up to this time
    considered the desirability of marriage. This was perhaps chiefly
    because I had no means to marry. But even in the midst of my
    affairs I always retained sufficient sense to criticise the moral
    and intellectual calibre of the women I loved, and I held strong
    views on the advisability of mental and moral sympathies and
    congenital tastes existing between people who married. In my
    amours I had hitherto found no intellectual equality or
    sympathies. My passion for D.C. was prompted by (1) the bond that
    sexual intercourse with a woman has nearly always produced in my
    feelings, (2) her physical beauty, (3) that she was sensual, (4)
    that she was a lady, (5) that she was young, (6) that she was not
    mercenary. It was kept alive by the obstacles in the way of my
    seeing her enough and by her engagement to another.

    "The D.C. affair left me worn out emotionally. I reviewed my life
    of the last four years. It seemed to show much more heartache,
    anxiety, and suffering than pleasure. I concluded that this
    unsatisfactory result was inseparable from the pursuit of
    illegitimate amours. I saw that my work had been interfered with,
    and that I was in debt, owing to the same cause. Yet I felt that
    I could never do without a woman. In this quandary I found myself
    thinking that marriage was the only salvation for me. Then I
    should always have a woman by me. I was sufficiently sensible to
    know that unless there were congenial tastes and sympathies, a
    marriage could not turn out happily, especially as my chief
    interests in life (after woman) were literature, history, and
    philosophy. But I imagined that if I could find a girl who would
    satisfy the condition of being an intellectual companion to me,
    all my troubles would be over; my sexual desire would be
    satisfied, and I could devote myself to work.

    "In this frame of mind I turned my thoughts more seriously in the
    direction of a girl whom I had known for some two years. Her age
    was nearly the same as mine. My family and hers were acquainted
    with one another. I had established a platonic friendship with
    her. Undoubtedly the prime attraction was that she was young and
    pretty. But she was also a girl of considerable character.
    Without being as well educated as I was, she was above the
    average girl in general intelligence. She was fond of reading;
    books formed our chief subject of conversation and common
    interest. She was, in fact, a girl of more intelligence than I
    had yet encountered. On her side, as I afterward discovered, the
    interest in me was less purely platonic. Our relations toward one
    another were absolutely correct. Yet we were intimate, informal,
    and talked on subjects that would be considered forbidden topics
    between two young persons by most people. I felt she was a true
    friend. She, too, confided to me her troubles.

    "We corresponded with one another frequently. Sometimes it
    occurred, to me that it was rather strange she should be so keen
    to write to me, to hear from me, and to see me; but I had never
    thought of her, consciously, except as a friend; I never for a
    moment imagined she thought of me except as an interesting and
    intelligent friend. Nor did the idea of illicit love ever suggest
    itself to me. She was one of those women whose face and
    expression put aside any such thought. I was, indeed, inclined to
    regard her as a good influence on me, but as passionless. I
    confided to her the affair of D.C., which took place during our
    acquaintance. She was distressed, but sympathetic and not
    prudish. I did not suspect the cause of her distress; I thought
    it was owing to her disappointment in the ideals she had formed
    of me. She invited me to join her and her family for a part of
    the summer (I had now left the university, having obtained my
    degree in low honors) and I decided to join them. At this stage
    there began to impress itself on my mind the possibility that she
    cared for me; also the desirability, if that were so, of becoming
    engaged to her. I found my feelings became warmer. On several
    occasions we found ourselves alone. Then, one day, our talk
    became more personal, more tender; and I kissed her. I do
    recollect distinctly the thought flashing through my mind, as she
    allowed me to kiss her, that she was not after all the
    passionless and 'straight' girl I had thought. But the idea must
    have been a very temporary one; it did not return; she declared
    her love for me; and without any express 'proposal' on my part we
    walked home that afternoon mutually taking it for granted that we
    were engaged. I was happy, and calmly happy; proud and elated.

    "Circumstances now made it necessary for me to make money for
    myself and I was forced to enter a profession for which I had
    never felt any attraction; indeed, I had never considered the
    possibility of it, until I became engaged, and saw I must support
    myself if I were ever to marry. I worked hard, and rapidly
    improved my position.

    "I think I am correct in stating that from the day I became
    engaged my sexual troubles seemed to have ceased. My thoughts and
    passions were centred on one woman. We wrote to one another
    twice every week, and as far as I was concerned every thought and
    feeling I had I told her, and the receipt of her letters was for
    me the event of my life for nearly three years. My anxiety in
    connection with my work used up a great deal of my energy, and,
    although I looked forward to the time when I should have a woman
    at my side every night, my sexual desires were in abeyance. Nor
    did I feel any desire or temptation for other women.

    "I masturbated, but not frequently. Generally I did it to the
    accompaniment of images or scenes associated with my betrothed,
    sometimes the act was purely auto-erotic. My leisure time was
    devoted to reading.

    "On only one occasion did I have intercourse with a woman during
    my engagement (three years); it was with a girl whose
    acquaintance I had made at the university and who asked me to
    come to see her.

    "I married at the age of 24. Looking back on the early days of my
    married life it is now a matter of surprise to me that I was so
    far from exhibiting the transports of passion which since then
    have accompanied any intercourse with a new woman. Partly I was
    frightened of shocking her; partly my three years of comparative
    abstinence had chastened me. It was some weeks before I ever saw
    my wife entirely naked; I never touched her parts with my hand
    for many months; and after the first few weeks I did not have
    intercourse with her frequently.

    "Perhaps this was to be expected. The basis of my affection for
    her had always been a moral or mental one rather than physical,
    although she was a handsome, well-made girl. Besides, money and
    other worries kept my thoughts busy, as well as struggles to make
    both ends meet.

    "Indeed, I may say my sexual nature seemed to be dying out. When
    I had been married less than six months I discovered that sexual
    intercourse with my wife no longer meant what sexual intercourse
    used to mean--no excitement or exaltation or ecstasy. My wife
    perhaps contributed to this by her attitude. She confessed
    afterward to me that for the first week or so she positively
    dreaded bedtime, so physically painful was intercourse to her;
    that it was many weeks, if not months, before she experienced the
    orgasm. For the first year and more of marriage she could not
    endure touching my penis. This at first disappointed me; then
    annoyed and finally almost disgusted me.

    "Later on, she learned to experience the orgasm. But she was very
    undemonstrative during the act, and it was seldom that the orgasm
    occurred simultaneously; she took a much longer time.

    "I ceased to think about sexual matters. When I had been married
    about three years I was aware that, in my case, marriage meant
    the loss of all mad ecstasy in the act. I knew that if I had no
    work to do, and plenty of money, and temptation came my way, I
    should like to have another woman. But there was no particular
    woman to enchain my fancy and I did not have time or money or
    inclination to hunt for one.

    "At times I masturbated. Sometimes I did this to the
    accompaniment of homosexual desires or memories of the past. Then
    I got my wife to masturbate me.

    "About four years after marriage I got a woman from Piccadilly
    Circus to do _fellatio_. I had never had this done before. She
    did not do it genuinely, but used her fingers.

    "As stated above various anxieties, the fact that I could always
    satisfy my physical desires, all served to calm me. I was also
    interested in my work and had become ambitious to improve my
    position and was very energetic.

    "On the whole, notwithstanding money worries, the first four or
    five years of my married life were the happiest in my life.
    Certainly I was very free from sexual desires; and the general
    effect of marriage was to make me economical, energetic,
    ambitious, and unselfish. I was certainly overworked. I seldom
    got to bed before 1 or 2; my meals were irregular; and I became
    worried and nervous. At the beginning of my fifth year of married
    life I got run down, and had a severe illness, and at one time my
    life was in danger, but I had a fairly rapid convalescence.

    "My illness was critical, in more senses than one. My
    convalescence was accompanied by a remarkable recrudescence of my
    sexual feelings. I will trace this in detail: 1. As I got
    well--but while still in bed--I found myself experiencing, almost
    continually, violent erections. These were at first of an
    auto-erotic character, and I masturbated myself, thus gaining
    relief to my nerves. 2. I also found my thoughts tending toward
    sexual images, and I felt a desire toward my nurse. I first
    became conscious of this when I noticed that I experienced an
    erection during the time that she was washing me. I mentioned the
    matter to my doctor, who told me not to worry, and said the
    symptoms were usual in the circumstances. 3. When I got up and
    about I found myself desiring very keenly to have intercourse
    with my wife. I can almost say that I felt more sexually excited
    than I had done for four or five years. As soon, however, as I
    had had intercourse with my wife a few times I felt my desire
    toward her cease. 4. My thoughts now centered on having a woman
    to do _fellatio_, and as soon as I was well enough to go out I
    got a prostitute to do this.

    "Just before I was ill my wife had a child, which was born with
    more than one abnormality. No doubt the shock and worry caused by
    this got me into a low state and predisposed me to my illness.
    But the consequences were farther reaching still. The child
    underwent an operation, and my wife had to take her away into the
    country for nearly six weeks, so as to give her better air. I was
    left alone in London, for the first time since my marriage. The
    worry in connection with the child, and the heavy expense, served
    to keep me nervously upset after I had apparently recovered
    physically from the illness. Once more I found myself thinking
    about women. As an additional factor in the situation I became
    friendly with an old college-chum whom I had not seen much of for
    many years. He lived the life of a fashionable young bachelor and
    was at the time keeping a woman. The only common interest between
    us was women. I found myself reverting to the old condition of
    rampant lust that had been such a curse to me in my university
    days. Some books he lent me had a decided effect. They gave me
    erections; and it was on top of the excitement thus engendered
    that one day I got a woman to do _fellatio_, as already
    mentioned. Moreover, since my illness, I found all my previous
    energy and ambition had gone.

    "I have stated that I was in London alone with two servants. The
    housemaid was a young girl; nice looking, with beautiful eyes and
    a sensual expression. She had been with us for about a year. I
    cannot remember when I first thought of her in a sexual way. But
    one evening I suddenly felt a desire for her. I talked to her; I
    found my voice trembling; I let my hand, as if by accident, touch
    hers; she did not withdraw it; and in a second I had kissed her.
    She did not resist. I took her on my knee, and tried to take
    liberties, which she resisted, and I desisted.

    "Next day I kissed her again, and put my hand inside her breasts.
    The same evening I took her to an exhibition. On the way home, in
    a hansom cab, I made her masturbate me. This was followed by a
    feeling of great relief, elation, and _pride_.

    "Next morning, when she came up to my bedroom to call me, I
    kissed and embraced her; she allowed me to take liberties, and,
    reassuring her by saying I would use a preventive, I had
    intercourse with her. She flinched somewhat. She then told me she
    was at her period and that she had never had intercourse with a
    man before.

    "During the next few weeks I found her an adept pupil, though
    always shy and undemonstrative. I took her to a hotel, and
    experienced the intensest pleasure I had ever had in undressing
    her. I had lately heard about _cunnilingus_. I now did it to her.
    I soon found I experienced very great pleasure in this, as did
    she. (I had attempted it with my wife, but found it disgusted
    me.) I also had intercourse _per anum_. (This again was an act I
    had heard about, but had never been able to regard as
    pleasurable. But books I had been reading stated it was most
    pleasant both to man and woman.) She resisted at first, finding
    it hurt her much; it excited me greatly; and when I had done it
    in this way several times she herself seemed to like it,
    especially if I kept my hand on her clitoris at the same time.

    "My relations with the housemaid, with whom I cannot pretend that
    I was in love, were only put an end to by satiety, and when I
    went away for my holidays I was utterly exhausted. This was,
    however, only the first of a series of relationships, at least
    one of which deeply stirred my emotional nature. These
    experiences, however, it is unnecessary to detail. There have
    also been occasional homosexual episodes.

    "I think I am now in a much healthier condition than I have been
    for some years. (I assume that it is _not_ healthy for all one's
    thoughts to be always occupied on sexual subjects.) The
    conclusion I come to is that I can live a normal, healthy life,
    devoting my thoughts to my work, and finding pleasure in
    friendship, in my children, in reading, and in other sources of
    amusement, as long as I can have occasional relations with a
    young girl--i.e., about once a week. But if this outlet for my
    sexual emotions is stopped sexual thoughts obsess my brain; I
    become both useless and miserable.

    "I have never regretted my marriage. Not only do I feel that life
    without a wife and home and children would be miserable, but I
    entertain feelings of great affection toward my wife. We are well
    suited to one another; she is a woman of character and
    intelligence; she looks after my home well, is a sensible and
    devoted mother, and understands me. I have never met a woman I
    would have sooner married. We have many tastes and likings in
    common, and--what is not possible with most women--I can, as a
    rule, speak to her about my feelings and find a listener who

    "On the other hand, all passion and sentiment have died out. It
    seems to me that this is inevitable. Perhaps it is a good thing
    this should be so. If men and women remained in the state of
    erotic excitement they are in when they marry, the business and
    work of the world would go hang. Unfortunately, in my case this
    very erotic excitement is the chief thing in life that appeals to

    "The factors that in my case have produced this death of passion
    and sentiment are as follows:--

    "1. Familiarity. When one is continually in the company of a
    person all novelty dies out. In the case of husband and wife, the
    husband sees his wife every day; at all times and seasons;
    dressed, undressed; ill; good tempered, bad tempered. He sees her
    wash and perform other functions; he sees her naked whenever he
    likes; he can have intercourse with her whenever he feels
    inclined. How can love (as I use the expression--i.e., sexual
    passion) continue?

    "2. Satiety. I am of a 'hot,' sensual disposition, inclined to
    excess, as far as my health and nerves are concerned. The
    appetite gets jaded.

    "3. Absence of strong sexual reciprocity on the part of my wife.
    I have referred to this above. She likes intercourse, but she is
    never outwardly demonstrative. She has naturally a chaste mind.
    She never is guilty of those little indecencies which affect some
    men a great deal. She does not like talking of these things; and
    she tells me that if I died, she would never want to have
    intercourse again with anyone. At times, especially recently, she
    has even asked me to have intercourse with her, or to masturbate
    her; but it is seldom that the orgasm occurs contemporaneously.
    In this respect she is different from other women I knew, in whom
    the mere fact that the orgasm was occurring in me at once
    produced it in them. At the same time I doubt whether even strong
    sexual reciprocity would have retained my passion for long.

    "4. During the early years of our married life money worries
    caused at times disagreements, reproaches and quarrels. Passion
    and sentiment are fragile and cannot stand these things.

    "5. The fact that I had already had other women diminished the
    feeling of awe with which many regard the sexual act and the
    violation of sexual conventions.

    "6. Loss of beauty. Loss of figure is, I fear, inseparable from
    childbearing especially if the woman works hard. We have always
    had servants, still my wife has always worked hard, at sewing,

    "I have stated that I entertain feelings of respect and
    admiration for my wife. But I almost _loathe_ the idea of
    intercourse with her. I would sooner masturbate, and think of
    another woman than have intercourse with her. It causes nausea in
    me to touch her private parts. Yet with other women it affords me
    mad pleasure to kiss them, every part of their bodies. But my
    wife still feels for me the love she had when we first married.
    There lies the tragedy."

The following narrative is a continuation of History XII in the previous

    HISTORY III.--I had become good looking. For a time I knew what
    it was to have loving looks from every woman I met, and being
    saner and healthier I would seem to be moving in a divine
    atmosphere of color and fragrance, pearly teeth and bright eyes.
    Even the old women with daughters looked at me amiably--married
    women with challenge and maidens with Paradise in their eyes.

    "I was standing one morning at St. Peter's corner, with two young
    friends, when a girl went by, coming over from the Roman Catholic
    cathedral. When she had passed she looked back, with that
    imperious swing that is almost a command, at me, as my friends
    distinctly admitted. They advised me to follow her; I did so, and
    she turned a pretty, blushing face and pair of dark gray eyes,
    with just the kind of eyebrows I liked: brown, very level, rather
    thick, but long. Her teeth and mouth were perfect, and she spoke
    with a slight Irish brogue. She let me do all the talking while
    she took my measure. God knows what she saw in me! I spoke in an
    affected manner, I remember, imitating some swell character I had
    seen on the stage a night or two before, but I was wise enough
    not to talk too much and to behave myself. She promised to meet
    me again and made the appointment. She was a school-teacher and
    engaged to be married to some one else. She meant to amuse
    herself her own way before she married. The second night I met
    her she allowed me to kiss her as much as I liked and promised
    all her favors for the third night. We took a long walk, and in
    the dark she gave herself to me, but I hurt her so much I had to
    stop two or three times. She had had connection only once, years
    before, when at school herself. She was inclined to be sensual,
    but she was young, fresh, and pretty, and her kisses turned my
    head. I fell genuinely in love with her and told her so, one
    night when she was particularly fascinating, with the tears in my
    eyes; and her face met mine with equal love. The first night or
    two I had felt no pleasure--whether through years of self-abuse
    or not I do not know,--but this night my whole being was excited.
    I met her once and sometimes twice a week and was always thinking
    of her. My sister saw me looking love-sick one day and I heard
    her say 'He's in love,' which rather flattered me, and I looked
    more love-sick and idiotic than ever. It was all wrong and
    perverted. She continued to meet her _fiance_, and intended to
    marry him. We both spoke of 'him' as an adultress speaks of her
    husband. That high level of tears and childlike joy in our youth
    and love was never reached again. But I realized her _sex_, her
    kisses, her presence--after all those years of horror (if she had
    only known)--more even than the sexual act itself; while she, as
    time went on, commenced to show a curiosity which I thought
    desecrating; she liked to examine--to 'let her hand stray,' were
    her words. Even her beauty seemed impaired some nights and I
    caught a gleam in her eye and a curve of her lip I thought
    vulgar. But perhaps the next night I met her she would be as
    bright as ever.

    "I introduced her to my friends, who knew our relations, for I
    blabbed everything. But she did not mind their knowing and if we
    met would give them all a kiss, so that I felt I had been rather
    too profuse in my hospitality, though I still would say: 'Have
    another one, Bert; I don't mind.' But whatever ass I made of
    myself she forgave me anything, and was fonder of me every time
    we met, while I, although I did not know it for a long time, was
    less fond of her. She knew how to revive my love, however. Some
    nights she would not meet me, and I would be like a madman. Other
    nights she would meet me, but not let me raise her dress. She
    would lie on me, on a moonlit night, and her young face in shadow
    like a siren's in its frame of hair, merely to kiss me. But what
    kisses! Slow, cold kisses changing to clinging, passionate ones.
    She would leave my mouth to look around, as if frightened, and
    come back, open-mouthed, with a side-contact of lips that brought
    out unexpected felicities.

    "One night her _fiance_ saw us together, and followed me after I
    left her, but on turning a corner I ran. I ridiculed him to her
    and despised him. I should have found it difficult to say why.
    Another night her brother attacked me, and it would have gone
    hard with me, but Annie pulled me in and banged the door. We were
    in a friend's house, but her father came around soon and laid a
    stick about her shoulders, in my presence. I tried to talk big,
    and said something idiotic about being as good a man as her
    betrothed, as though my intentions were honorable, which for one
    brief moment made Anne look at me, paler faced and changed, such
    a strange glance. But he beat her home, enjoying my rage, and she
    went away, crying in her hands. I was allowed to go unmolested.

    "I soon received a letter from her asking me not to mind and
    making an appointment, at which she turned up cheerful and
    unconcerned. She went to confession, and would meet me
    afterwards; and her faith in that, and the difference of our
    religions (if I had any religion) would make her seem strange and
    alien to me at times, even banal. At last our meetings became a
    mere habit of sensuality, with all charm, and suggestion of
    better things eliminated....

    "I went with my friend George (who shared my room) one afternoon
    and called at Annie's school; she kept an infants' school of her
    own. She came to the door herself. It was the first time I had
    seen her in daylight, and I thought her cheek-bones bigger; she
    certainly was not so pretty as on the first evening I met her.
    George had told me he would sleep away if I wanted the room, and
    when next I met her she promised to come and sleep with me.
    Before I had always met her on the grass, under trees. She came,
    and the sight of her young limbs and breasts revived something of
    my love for her, my better love. But she was insatiable and more
    sensual every day. One day she came when I was not well, and
    would not go away disappointed. I had met a very pretty girl
    about this time, and now resolved to give Annie up, which I did
    in the cruelest manner, cutting her dead, and refusing to answer
    her letters and touching messages. I heard that she would cry for
    hours, but I was harder than adamant....

    "I thought myself very much in love with the very pretty girl for
    whom I had thrown up Annie. She lived with her mother and two
    sisters, one older than herself, the other a mere child. The
    eldest sister, a handsome, dark girl like a Spaniard, was not
    virtuous. She was good natured; too much so, and took her
    pleasure with several of us, dying, not long after, of
    consumption. I thought her sister, my girl, was virtuous, and I
    meant to marry her--some day. At any rate, I saw her mother, who
    lived in a well-furnished house and was a superior woman. This
    did not prevent my trying to seduce her daughter. I did not
    succeed for a long time, though she did not cease meeting me. The
    sisters came to see us. I knew, one night, her sister was
    upstairs with D. and I guessed what they were at, so I suggested
    to her she should creep up on them for fun. She did so, came
    back, excited and pale--and gave herself to me. But she was not a
    virgin and in time I had a glimpse of her unhappy fate and her
    mother's position. Her father was dead or divorced, and her
    mother, I believe, was mistress to some wealthy bookmaker. I am
    not sure, there was always a mystery hanging over the mother, nor
    am I certain that she connived at her daughter's seduction, but
    the girl's account was that after some successful Cup day there
    had been too much champagne drunk all around, and that a man she
    looked on as a friend came into her bedroom that night when she
    was _tete montee_ and seduced or violated her--whichever word you
    like to choose. Since then his visits had been frequent until she
    met me, she said, and if I would be true to her she would be a
    true wife to me, and I believed her and still believe she meant
    what she said. But I left Melbourne shortly after this, our
    letters got few and far between, and ultimately I heard she was
    married to a young man who had always been in love with her....

    "Among the inmates of the boarding house was a 'married' couple
    who stayed for some time; he was an insignificant, ugly, little,
    crosseyed commercial traveler; she was a pretty, little creature
    who looked as innocent and was as merry as a child; we all vied
    in paying her attentions and waiting on her like slaves, the
    husband always smiling a cryptic smile. After they had left it
    was hinted they were not married at all; the oldest hands had
    been taken in.... One afternoon I met Dolly, the commercial
    traveler's wife, and she stopped and spoke to me. I remembered
    what I had heard and ventured on some pleasantry at which she
    laughed, and on my proposing that we should go for a walk she
    consented. She had left the commercial traveler, it came out in
    conversation, and we went on talking and walking, one idea only
    in my mind now; could I detain her till dark? Dolly, who was very
    pretty indeed, amused herself with me for hours, playing hot and
    cold, snubbing me one minute, encouraging me with her eyed
    another. Hour after hour went and she found this game so
    entertaining that she accompanied me to the park behind the
    Botanical Gardens, and it was not until it was too late for me to
    catch a train home that she gave herself to me. In fact, we
    stayed out the whole of that warm summer night. As the hours went
    by she told me of her home in London and how she first went
    wrong. She had been a good girl till one day on an excursion she
    drank some rum or gin, which seemingly revived some dormant taint
    of heritage; when she went home that night she fell flat at her
    mother's feet. Her parents, well-to-do shopkeepers, who had
    forgiven her several times before, turned her out. She became one
    man's mistress and then another's. She began early, and was
    scarcely 19 now. She would leave off the drink for a time and try
    to be respectable. She loved her father and mother, but she could
    not help drinking at times. She spoke cheerfully and laughingly
    about it all; she was young, strong, good natured, and careless.
    We went to sleep for a little while and then wandered in the
    early morning down toward the cemetery, when she tried to tidy
    her hair, asking me how I had enjoyed myself and not waiting for
    an answer. She was thirsty, she said, and when the public houses
    opened we went and had a drink. It was the first time I had seen
    her drink alcohol,--at the boarding house she had always been the
    picture of health and sweetness,--and I saw a change come over
    her at once, so that I understood all that she had told me. The
    sleepless night may have made it worse, but the look that came
    into her eyes, and the looseness of the fibres not only of her
    tell-tale wet mouth, but of every muscle of her face was
    startling and piteous to see. She saw my look and laughed, but
    her laugh was equally piteous to hear, and when she spoke again
    her voice had changed too, and was equally piteous. She asked for
    another. 'No, don't,' I begged, for the pretty girl I had
    flattered myself I had passed a summer's night with that most
    young men would envy, showed signs of changing, like some siren,
    into a flabby, blear-eyed boozer. That hurt my vanity.

    "I met her another night and she took, me to her lodgings, and I
    slept with her all night. I no longer tried to stop her drinking,
    but drank with her. I ceased to treat her with courtesy and
    gallantry; she noticed it, but only drank the more, drank till
    she became dirty in her ways, till her good looks vanished. I
    left her, too drunk to stand, as some friend, a woman, called on

    "She came to see me once more, like her old self, so well dressed
    and well behaved, and chatted so cheerfully to my landlady that
    the latter afterward congratulated me on having such a friend.
    Dolly carried a parcel of underclothing she had made, with a few
    toys, for the children of a poor man in the suburbs, and I
    accompanied her to the house. There was great excitement among
    the ragged children; in fact, the atmosphere became so
    dangerously full of love and charity that I commenced to feel
    uncomfortable,--the shower of roses again,--and was glad to find
    myself in the open air. We went for a walk and had several
    drinks, which made the usual change in Dolly. I got tired of her,
    determined I would leave her, spoke cruelly, and finally--after
    having connection with her on the dry seaweed--rose and left her
    brutally, walked away faster and faster, deaf to her
    remonstrances, and careless whether or how she reached the

    "I had gone to lodge with a family whom I had been accustomed to
    visit as a friend; there were two daughters; the elder, engaged
    to a young German who was away with a survey party, had a rather
    plain face, but a strong one and was herself a strong character,
    and I came to like her in spite of myself; the second girl had
    light golden hair, a fresh complexion, a short nose, and rather
    large mouth, which contained beautiful teeth; they were both
    good, obedient, innocent church-going daughters. As there was
    plenty of amusement there of an evening, singing and dancing, I
    did not go out, got into better ways, and gradually gave up
    drinking to excess. I was so improved in appearance that an old
    acquaintance did not recognize me. My anecdotes and fun amused
    Mrs. S., the mother of the girls. She could be very violent on
    occasions, I found, and I learned that there had been terrible
    scenes at times, and that from time to time it had been necessary
    to place her in an asylum. I went for drives with the girls and
    to theatres, and ought to have been happy and glad to find myself
    in such good quarters. The mother trusted me so entirely that she
    left me for hours with the girls, the younger one of whom I would
    kiss sometimes. She was engaged to a young fellow whom I spoke to
    patronizingly, but whose shoes I was not worthy to fasten. I was
    the cause of quarrels between them. They made it up again but I
    think he noticed the change that was taking place in Alice. For
    from kissing her I had gone on--all larking at first. We formed
    the habit of sitting down on the sofa when alone and kissing
    steadily for ten minutes or more at a time. She was excited
    without knowing what was the matter with her--but I knew. And one
    day when our mouths were together I drew her to me and commenced
    to stroke her legs gently down. She trembled like a string bow,
    and allowed my hand to go farther. And then she was frightened
    and ashamed and commenced to laugh and cry together. She had
    these hysterical attacks several times and they always frightened
    me. It ended in my seducing her. She broke off her engagement,
    and then was sorry; but soon she thought only of me.... One day
    Alice and I were nearly caught. I had just left her on the sofa
    and had commenced drawing at a table with my back to her when
    suddenly her mother came in without her shoes, while Alice had
    one hand up her clothes arranging her underclothing. The mother
    stopped dead and shot me one glance I shall never forget. 'Why,
    Alice, you frighten me!' she said. I feigned surprise and asked
    'What is the matter?' Alice, although she was frightened out of
    her wits, managed to stammer: 'He couldn't see me--you couldn't
    see me, could you?' appealing to me. But I had managed to collect
    my senses a bit and although still under that maternal eye I
    asked,--at last turning slowly around to Alice: 'See? What do you
    mean? See what?' And I looked so mystified that the mother was
    deceived, and contented herself with scolding Alice and telling
    her to run no risks of that sort. I breathed again.

    "But I was near the end of my tether. Alice and I talked about
    everything now. She told me about her life at boarding school and
    the strange ideas some of the girls had about men and marriage.
    After leaving school she had been sent to a large millinery or
    drapery establishment to learn sewing and dressmaking. Here, she
    said, the talk was awful at times, and one girl had a book with
    pictures of men's organs of generation, which was passed around
    and excited their curiosity to the highest pitch.

    "I had days of tenderness and contrition, and even told her I
    would get on and marry her. Then the tears would come into her
    eyes and she would say: 'I seem to feel as if you were my husband
    now.' ...

    "I had to see a man on business and went to his cottage. The door
    was opened by his wife, a handsome, dark-eyed young woman, who
    looked as if butter would not melt in her mouth. After leaving a
    message I went on talking to her on other subjects. She piqued my
    vanity in some way, and made me feel curious and restless. I
    found myself thinking of her after I left and looking back I saw
    she was still looking at me.

    "To make a long story short, she encouraged me. It ended by my
    leaving the S. family and going to board with them. T.D., the
    husband, was glad of my company and my money. They had a little
    boy--whose father T. was not. I soon understood her inviting
    looks at me. For she was a general lover, and an old man, in a
    good government billet, visited her often when T.D. was away: I
    will call him Silenus. There was also a dark, handsome man who
    built organs. The latter came one day and sent for some beer. I
    was working in my room, and it so happened that before he knocked
    she had been going further than usual in her talk with me; in
    fact, as good as giving me the word. When her friend was admitted
    he had to pass my open door and he gave me a look with his black
    eyes and I gave him a look which told each what the other's game
    was. It is wonderful what a lot can be learned from a single
    glance of the eyes. When I saw the little boy bringing in the
    beer I felt that he had bested me. But she brought me in a glass
    first, and putting her down on the sofa I scored first. It was
    done so suddenly, so brutally, that, accustomed as she must have
    been to such scenes she turned red and bit her under lip. But she
    sent the other man away in a few minutes. After that she was
    insatiable; it was every day and sometimes twice in one day. I
    commenced to be gloomy and miserable again. And there was not
    even a pretense of love. There was no deception about her; she
    even introduced me to Silenus and we made excursions together,
    for which he paid, as he had plenty of money. We were always
    drinking, until at last I could eat nothing unless I had two or
    three whiskies. I became very thin, my horizon seemed black and
    all things at an end. (But T.D. enjoyed his meals and was really
    fond of his wife and her boy and his work; life was pleasant to
    him.) She would go up to town with me and to a certain hotel;
    after drinking she would leave me waiting while she retired with
    the handsome young landlord for a short time. She told me when
    she came back that he was a great favorite with married women.

    "She told me that Silenus visited a woman who practiced
    _fellatio_ on him. Mrs. D. thought such practices abominable and
    could not imagine how a woman could like doing such a thing.

    "When she was out walking with me one day T.D.'s name came up and
    she said in a slightly altered voice: 'He told me he loved me!'
    It was a word seldom used by her except in jest. I threw a
    startled look at her and caught an inquisitive and apologetic
    look in return, such a strange and touching glance that I saw I
    had not yet understood her,--there was an enigma somewhere. When,
    bit by bit, she told me her life, I understood, or thought I
    understood, that strange childlike glance in this young woman
    steeped to her eyes in sin. No one had ever made love to her or
    spoken to her of love in her life.

    "It had commenced at school. She must have been a particularly
    fine and handsome girl, judging from her photographs. She had
    seen boys playing with girls' privates under the form and felt
    jealous that they did not play with her's. She had no mother to
    look after her and she soon found plenty of boys to play with
    her, and young men, too, as she grew older. She took it as she
    took her meals. She had been really fond of her child's father,
    but as he had shown no tenderness for her, nothing but a craving
    for sensual gratification, she would rather have died than let
    him know. She soon tired of her attachments, she told me. She did
    not like T.D. He was not the complacent husband; he was spirited
    enough, but he believed everything she told him. One day he came
    home unexpectedly when we were together on the bare palliass in
    her room. It was a critical moment when his knocks were heard,
    and in the hurry and excitement some moisture was left on the
    bed. The knocks became louder, but she was calmer than I, and
    bade me run down to the closet. I could hear her cheerful and
    chaffing voice greeting him. When I walked in back to my own room
    she called out: 'Here's T. home!' I learned afterward that he had
    been surly and suspicious, and had seen the moisture on the bed,
    and asked about it, whereupon she had turned the tables upon him
    completely; he ought to be ashamed of himself; she knew what he
    meant by his insinuations; if he must know how that moisture come
    on the bed, why she put the soap there in a hurry to catch a
    flea. He believed her and brought her a present next day in
    atonement for his suspicions.

    "During her monthly periods, when I could not touch her, she
    would come in and play with me until emissions occurred, and my
    feelings had become so perverted that I even preferred this to
    coitus. The orgasm would occur twice in her to once in me, and
    though her eyes were rather hard and her mouth too, she always
    looked well and cheerful, while I was gloomy and depressed. In
    her side, however, was a hard lump, which pained her at times,
    and which, doubtless, was waiting its time....

    "One day I felt so low in health that I proposed to T.D. that we
    should take a boat and sail out in the bay for a day or two. The
    sea, the change, the open air revived me, and I even made
    sketches of the black sailor as he steered the boat. One day when
    I was left alone in charge of the boat, as I felt the time
    hanging on my hands, for the sea, the blue sky, the lovely day
    gave me no real pleasure, I remember abusing myself, the old
    habit reasserting itself as soon as I was alone and idle. When
    T.D. came back he brought Mrs. D. with him, laughing and jolly as
    usual. She was surprised when lying next to me under the deck on
    our return I did not respond to her advances. It would have
    pleased her, with her husband only a few feet away. After that I
    spent a night with her, but she was getting tired of me. I did
    not care for her, but it hurt my vanity and I made a few attempts
    to be impertinent. She looked at me coldly and threatened to
    complain to T....

    "I want to relate an impression I received one night about this
    time when with several friends we called at a brothel. I forget
    my companion, but I remember two faces. It was winter, and great
    depression prevailed in Adelaide. We had been talking to the
    mistress as we drank some beer and were pretending to be jolly
    fellows, although we were wet, cold, and had not enjoyed
    ourselves (at least, I had not), and she was speaking harshly and
    jeeringly about two girls she had now who had not earned a penny
    for the past week. Just then we heard footsteps and she said in a
    lower tone: 'Here they are,' They came in, unattended, having
    ascertained which the brothel-keeper snorted and turned her back
    to them. The faces of the girls, who were quite young, looked so
    miserable that even I pitied them. The look on the face of one of
    those girls as she stood by the hearth drawing off her gloves
    lives in my memory. Too deep for tears was its sorrow, shame, and

    "I had given up drink and was living in the bush. To anyone with
    normal nerves it would have been a happy time of quiet, rustic
    peace, beauty, and relief from city life. With me it was restless
    vanity amounting to madness. In every relation, action, or
    possible event in which I figured or might figure in the future,
    I always instantaneously called up an imaginary audience. And
    then this imaginary audience admired everything I did or might
    do, and put the most heroic, gallant, and romantic construction
    on my acts, appearance, lineage, and breeding. Suppose I saw a
    pretty girl on a bush road. Instead of thinking 'There is a
    pretty girl; I should like to know her or kiss her,' as I suppose
    a healthy, normal young man would think, I thought after this
    fashion: 'There is a pretty girl; now, as I pass her she will
    think I am a handsome and aristocratic-looking stranger, and, as
    I carry a sketch-book, an artist--"A landscape painter! How
    romantic!" she will say, and then she will fall in love with me,'
    etc. This preoccupation with what other people might think or
    would think so engrossed all my time that I had no means of
    enjoying the presence, thought, or favor of the divine creatures
    I met, and I must have appeared 'cracked' to them with my
    reticence, pride, and silly airs.

    "I met girls as foolish as myself sometimes. Once at a _table
    d'hote_ I met a young girl who went for a walk with me and let me
    know her carnally although she was little more than a schoolgirl.
    She was going down to town soon, she said, and would meet me at a
    certain hotel (belonging to relations of hers) in Adelaide on a
    certain date, some time ahead; if I took a room there she would
    come into it during the night. In the meanwhile I had given way
    to drink again and abused myself at intervals. I came down to
    town, drunk, in the coach, and kept my appointment with the young
    girl at the hotel, expecting a night of pleasure; but she merely
    stared at me coldly as if she had never seen me before. I abused
    myself twice in my solitary room....

    "I met a middle-aged schoolteacher (who had once been an officer
    in the army) down for his holidays. As he spoke well, and was a
    'gentleman,' I cultivated him. One night he asked me to meet a
    girl he had an appointment with and tell her he was not well
    enough to meet her. He foolishly told me the purpose of their
    intended meeting. I went to the trysting-place, at the back of
    the hotel, and met the girl. On delivering my message she smiled,
    made some joke about her friend, and looked at me as much as to
    say: 'You will do as well.' I had been drinking, and in the most
    brutal manner I took her into a closet. By some strange chance or
    state of nerves she gave me exquisite pleasure, but the orgasm
    came with me before it did with her, and in spite of her
    disappointment and protests I stood up and pulled her out of the
    place for fear some one should find us there. Still protesting
    she followed me, but her foot slipped on the paved court, and she
    fell down on her face. When she rose I saw that her front teeth
    were broken. I looked at her without pity, with impatience, and
    abruptly leaving her I went into the hotel to 'the colonel.' I
    commenced to tell him lies, when he asked me with a weak laugh
    what had been keeping me. I smiled with low cunning and drunken
    vanity, evading the question. Then he accused me directly. I only
    laughed; but, drunk as I was, I remember the look of the ageing
    bachelor as he saw he had been betrayed by a younger man. He had
    known her for years....

    "I was now living in the home of a woman who was separated from
    her husband and kept lodgers. She had a daughter, with whom I
    walked out, a pretty girl who drank like a fish, as her mother
    also did. There were other lodgers coming and going. I would lie
    down all day and keep myself saturated with beer. I commenced to
    get fat and bloated, with the ways of a brothel bully. A
    broken-down, drunken old woman who visited the house and had been
    a beautiful lady in her youth told me I should end my days on the
    gallows trap. The same woman when drunk would lift up her dress,
    sardonically, exposing herself. Other old women would congregate
    in the neglected and dirty bedrooms and tell fortunes with the
    cards. One little woman, an onanist, was like a character out of
    Dickens, exaggerated, affected, unnatural, with remains of
    gentility and society manners. Amidst all this drunkenness and
    abandonment May, the landlady's daughter, preserved her
    virginity. Young lodgers would take liberties with her, but at a
    certain stage would receive a stinger on the face. The girl liked
    me and would kiss me, but nothing else. And then--out of this
    home of drunkenness and shame--May fell in love with some pretty
    boy she met by chance, whom she never asked to her home. She
    began to neglect me, even to neglect drink, and to dream,
    preoccupied. I felt a restless jealousy, but she would look at
    me, without resentment, without recognition, without seeing me,
    look me straight in the eyes as I was talking to her, and dream
    and dream. This same pretty boy seduced her, I believe. When next
    I met her she was 'on the town,' her one dream of spring over....

    "About this time I had one of those salutary turns that have
    marked epochs in my life, and as a result I left that house and
    resolutely abstained from drink.... I was now in a small
    up-country town. I commenced to play croquet and to ride out.
    Sometimes I was invited to dinner by a young man at the bank,
    whose house was kept by his sister. She had a small figure, a
    pretty but rather narrow face, and well-bred manners; but there
    was a look in her asymmetrical eyes, in the shape of her thin
    hands, even in the stoop of her shoulders, that seemed
    passionate. One day--when her brother, a fine, sweet-blooded
    manly young athlete, was absent--I commenced to pull her about.
    She gave me one passionate kiss, but said: 'No! Do you know what
    keeps me straight? It is the thought of my brother.' I refrained
    from molesting her further. I met other girls, some pretty and
    arrogant, others plain and hungry-eyed; it was a country town
    where there were four or five females to every male. But I could
    not speak frankly and candidly to a young woman as the young
    banker did....

    "I remember that one night, when I was living at the Port, I
    slept all night with a prostitute who had taken a fancy to me and
    who used to cry on my shoulder, much to my impatience and
    annoyance. In the same bed with us, lying beside me, was a girl
    aged about 12. On my expressing surprise I was told she was used
    to it and noticed nothing. But in the morning I turned my head
    and looked at her, and even in the dim light of that dirty
    bedroom I could see that her eyes had noticed and understood. She
    pressed herself against me and smiled; it was not the smile of an
    infant. I could record many instances I have observed of the
    precocity of children.

    "At one time I made the acquaintance of three young men, two in
    the customs, the other in a surveyor's office. At the first
    glance you would have said they were ordinary nice young clerks,
    but on becoming better acquainted you would notice certain
    peculiarities, a looseness of mouth, a restless, nervous
    inquietude of manner, an indescribable gleam of the eye. They
    were very fond of performing and singing at amateur minstrel
    shows and developed a certain comic vein they thought original,
    though it reminded me of professional corner-men. However, I
    enjoyed their singing and drinking habits and went to their
    lodgings several nights to play cards, drink beer, and tell funny
    stories. One night they asked me to stay all night and on going
    to a room with two beds I was told to have one. Presently one of
    the young men came in and commenced to undress. But before going
    to his bed he made a remark which, though I had been drinking,
    opened my eyes. I told him to shut up and go to bed, speaking
    firmly and rather coldly, and he went reluctantly to his own bed.
    But another night when they had shifted their lodgings and were
    all sleeping in the same room I was drunk and went to bed with
    the same fair-haired young man. On waking up in the night I found
    my bedmate tampering with me. The old force came over me and I
    abused him, but refused to commit the crime he wanted me to. His
    penis was small and pointed. I rose early in the morning,
    sobered, suffering, and covered with shame, and went hastily
    away, refusing to stay for breakfast. I thought I caught an
    amazed and evil smile on the faces of the other two. Meeting the
    three the same evening in the street, I passed them blushing, and
    my bedmate of the previous night blushed also....

    "I now took cheap lodgings in North Adelaide. Here I had slight
    recurrences of the strangeness and fear of going mad which I had
    experienced once before. I led such a solitary life and fell into
    such a queer state that I turned to religion and attended church
    regularly. It was approaching the time for those young men and
    women who wished to be confirmed to prepare themselves, and a
    struggle now ensued between my pride and my wish to gain rest and
    peace of mind in Jesus. I was self-conscious to an incredible
    degree, and dreaded exposure or making an exhibition of myself,
    but still went to church, hoping the grace of God would descend
    on me. I had no other resources. I had no pleasure in life, and
    was so shattered and in such misery of dread that I welcomed the
    only refuge that seemed open to me. At last, one Sunday, I had
    what I thought was a call; I shed a few tears, and although
    tingling all down my spine I went up in the cathedral and joined
    those who were going to be confirmed. I attended special meetings
    and shocked the good bishop very much by telling him I had never
    been baptized. I had to be baptized first and went one day to the
    cathedral and he baptized me. When the critical awful moment came
    the bishop, whose faith even then surprised me somehow, held my
    hand in his cold palm, and gave it a pressure, eyeing me,
    expectantly, inquisitively, to see any change for the better.
    But, it so happened, that morning I was in a horrible temper and
    black mood, hard and dry-eyed, and no change came. Still, I tried
    to believe there was a change.

    "I was confirmed with others, had a prayer-book given me with
    prayers for nearly every hour in the day, and was always kneeling
    and praying. I procured a long, white surplice, and assisted at
    suburban services, even conducting small ones myself, reading the
    sermons out of books. But my mood of rage increased, and one
    Sunday I had to walk a long way in a new pair of boots. I shall
    never forget that hot Sunday afternoon. My feet commenced to ache
    and a murderous humor seized me. I swore and blasphemed one
    moment and prayed to God to forgive me the next. When I reached
    the chapel where I had to assist the chaplain I was exhausted
    with rage, pain, fear, and religious mania. I thought it probable
    I had offended the Holy Ghost. When, next Sunday, I went to try
    my hand at Sunday-school teaching I wore a pair of boots so old
    that the little boys laughed. I was always talking of my
    conversion and the spirit of our Saviour. I do not know what the
    clergymen I met thought of me. I thought I should like to be a
    minister myself, and questioned a Church of England parson as to
    the amount of study necessary. He received my question rather
    coldly, I thought, which discouraged me. As my dread gradually
    diminished, though I still felt strange, I made excuses for not
    conducting services, although I continued to read my Bible and
    prayer-book, and really believed I had been 'born again.'

    "Surely now, I thought, that I had Christ's aid, I shall be able
    to break off my habit of self-abuse that had been the curse of my
    youth. What was my horror and dismay to find that, when the mood
    came on me next, I went down the same as ever. And after all my
    suffering and dread and fear of fits! What could I do? Was I mad,
    or what? I was really frightened at my helplessness in the matter
    and decided on a course of conduct that ultimately brought me
    past this danger to better health and comparative happiness. I
    said to myself that there is always a certain amount of
    preliminary thought and dalliance before I do this deed;
    doubtless this it is that renders me incapable of resisting. I
    decided, therefore, never to let my thoughts _commence_ to dwell
    on lustful things, but to think of something else on the _first_
    intimation of their appearance in my mind. I rigorously followed
    this rule; and it proved successful, and I recommend it to others
    in the same predicament as myself. After suffering weeks and
    months of dread and illness once more, falling away in flesh and
    turning yellow, I gradually mended a little. I had a better color
    and tone, and was something like other young men, barring a
    strange alternate exaltation and depression. Even this gradually
    became less noticeable, and my moods more even and reliable."


[219] My Christian faith is of a somewhat nonemotional, intellectual type,
with a considerable element of agnostic reserve.

[220] On having connection with my wife I frequently exhibit sufficient
sexual power to produce orgasm in her; but on occasion, especially during
the first year or so of married life, I have been unable to do this, owing
to the too rapid action of the reflexes in myself, and have even, now and
again, had emissions _ante portam_.


Adam, Madame
Allbutt, Gifford
Allen, Grant
Allin, A.
Anselm, St.

Bain, A.
Baker, Sir S.

Baschet, Armand
Batchelor, J.
Bazan, Pardo
Bernard, L.
Bernardin de St. Pierre
Bianchi, L.
Bloch, A.G.
Bloch, I.
Brisay, Marquis de
Broune, R.
Brown, H.
Brunton, Sir Lauder
Buckman, S.S.
Bullen, F. St. John
Burton, Sir R.
Burton, R.

Candolle, A. de
Cardi, Comte di
Clement of Alexandria
Cocke, J.
Cohn, Jonas
Colenso, W.
Cook, Captain
Cyples, W.

Daniell, W.F.
Darlington, L.
Darwin, C.
Darwin, E.
Davy, J.
Digby, Sir K.
Dillon, E.
Donaldson, H.H.
Duehren, E.
Dunlop, W.

Eliot, George
Ellis, A.B.
Ellis, A.J.
Ellis, Havelock
Ellis, W.
Emin Pasha
Endriss, J.
Engelmann, I.J.

Filhes, Margarethe
Flagy, R. de
Fletcher, A.C.
Fol, H.
Forster, J.B.
Franklin, A.
Frazer, J.G.
Friedreich, J.B.
Frumerie, G. de

Galton, F.
Goncourt, E. de
Gourmont, Remy de
Griffith, W.D.A.
Griffiths, A.B.
Groos, K.

Hall, G. Stanley
Halle, A. de la
Harrison, F.
Hart, D. Berry
Harvey, W.F.
Hearn, Lafcadio
Hellier, J.B.
Henry, C.
Hermant, Abel
Herrick, C.L.
Herrick, R.
Holder, A.B.
Humboldt, W. von
Hutchinson, W.F.
Hutchinson, Woods

James, W.
Jerome, St.
Johnston, Sir H.H.

Kate, H. ten
Kiernan, J.G.
King, J.S.
Kirchhoff, A.
Klein, G.

Lane, E.W.
Lancaster, E.
Lemaire, J.
Lewis, A.T.
Lombroso, C.
Lombroso, Gina

MacDonald, J.
MacDougall, B.
MacKenzie, J.N.
MacKenzie, S.
Man, E.H.
Marholm, L.
Marie de France
Marston, J.
Martineau, Harriet
Maudsley, H.
Maxim, Sir H.
McDougall, W.
Melle, Van
Miner, J.B.
Minut, G. de
Moore, A.W.
Moore, F.
Muir, Sir W.
Myers, C.S.

Newman, W.L.
Norman, Conolly

Ordericus Vitalis

Parke, T.H.
Parker, Rushton
Passy, J.
Patrick, G.T.W.
Patrizi, M.L.

Pearson, K.
Petrie, Flinders
Pillon, E.
Potwin, E.
Poulton, E.B.
Pruner Bey

Ramsey, Sir W.
Reade, Winwood
Renier, R.
Restif de la Bretonne
Rhys, J.
Robinson, Louis
Rochas, A. de
Roger, J.L.
Romi, Shereef-Eddin
Roscoe, J.
Roth, H. Ling
Roth, W.
Routh, A.
Rowbotham, J.F.

Salmuth, P.
Sanborn, L.
Santayana, G.
Savage, G.
Schultz, A.
Scott, Colin
Scripture, E.W.
Selous, E.
Semon, Sir F.
Sensai, Nagayo
Sharp, D.
Shields, T.E.
Simpson, Sir J.Y.
Skeat, W.W.
Smith, Sir A.
Smith, G. Elliot
Smith, H.
Smyth, Brough
Spencer, Herbert
Stanley, Hiram
Stevens, Vaughan
Stirling, E.C.
Stoddart, W.H.B.
Stratz, C.H.
Symonds, J.A.
Syrus, Publilius

Talbot, E.B.
Talbot, E.S.
Tinayre, Marcelle
Tourdes, G.
Tylor, E.B.

Varigny, O. de
Vinci, L. de

Wallace, A.E.
Waller, A.
Walther, P. von
Watts, G.F.
Weinhold, K.
Wiedemann, A.
Wilks, Sir S.
Wright, T.

Yung, E.



Acne in relation to sexual development
  standard modified by love
  in region of smell
  in relation to the sexual impulse
Alexander the Great,
  odor of
American Indians
  types of beauty
  ideas of beauty
  seldom acquainted with kiss
Anaesthesia produced by tuning forks
Antisexual instinct
  ideal of beauty
  kissing among
  odor of
Assortative mating
  ideal of beauty
  kissing among

  its history in modern Europe
  opposed by early Christians
  also by Mohammed
Baudelaire's olfactory sensibility
Beard in relation to beauty
  as the symbol of love
  the chief agent in sexual selection
  the sexual element in aesthetic
  its largely objective character
  ideals of, among various peoples
  sometimes found in lowest races
  primary sex characters as an element of
Beauty, clothing in relation to
  secondary sexual characters as an element of
  in relation to pigmentation
  the individual element in ideal of
  the exotic element
  in relation to stature
Bird song,
  origin of
Biting in relation to origin of kissing
  sense of smell in the
  sensitiveness to voice
  the admiration for
  as an element of beauty
  as a tactile sexual focus
  odor of
  public baths once synonymous with
  the admiration for

Capryl odors
Carbolic acid disliked by savages
Catholic theologians,
  on danger of tactile contacts
  opposed bathing
_Chenopodium vulvaria_
Chinese ideal of beauty
  odor of
  music among
  practice the olfactory kiss
  its use of the kiss
  opposition to bathing
Cleanliness and Christianity
Cleanliness in relation to sexual attraction
  deformation of
  sexual attraction of
  body odor during
Comic sense
  odor of
Cutaneous excitation,
  tonic effects of

Dancing in sexual selection
  odor of
Degenerates sexually attracted to one another
  the sexual charm of
Dogs practice _cunnilingus_
  predominance of smell in mental life of
  susceptibility to music
  sexual attraction among
Dyeing the hair,
  origin of

Egyptian ideal of beauty
Emotional memory
English type of beauty
Erogenous zone
  odor of
  odor of
Exotic element in ideal of beauty
Eyes as a factor of beauty

Fairness in relation to vigor
  the admiration for
  occasional injurious effect of perfumes of
  sexual character of their perfume
French ideal of beauty

German ideal of beauty
Goethe's olfactory sensibility
Gray eyes,
  admiration for
  conception of music
  ideal of beauty
  pygmalionism among
Green eyes,
  admiration for
Gunnings, the

Hair as an element of beauty
  sexual development of
  suggested function of
  odor of
Hallucinations of smell
Hamilton, Lady
Hebrews acquainted with kiss
  ideal of beauty
Henna plant,
  odor of
Hindu ideal of beauty
Hips as a feature of beauty
Hottentot apron as a feature of beauty
Hura dance
  effect of music during
Hysteria and the skin

Immorality and bathing
Incest, origin of the abhorrence of
  odor of
Indians, American,
  ideas of beauty
  odor of
  types of beauty
  seldom acquainted with kiss
  odor of
Insects and music
  smell in their sexual life
  influence of odor in sexual
Irish ideal of beauty
Italian ideal of beauty
  its parallelism to sexual tumescence

  ideal of beauty
  odor of
  perfumes among
  unacquainted with kiss
Jewish ideal of beauty
Joan of Aragon as a type of beauty

Kiss, the
Kwan-yin as a type of beauty

  controlling influences on
  in relation to menstruation
Larynx at puberty
Laughter as a form of detumescence
  odor of
  odor of
Longevity and beauty

  ideals of beauty
 the kiss among
Married couples,
  degree of resemblance between
Massage as a sexual stimulant
  in relation to acne
  in relation to bleeding of nose
  in relation to hallucinations of smell
  the nature of
  in relation to acne
  in relation to lactation
  in relation to body odors
  in relation to bleeding of nose
Mirror as a method of heightening tumescence
Modesty in relation to ticklishness
  his love of perfumes
  his opinion of public baths
  attitude toward bath
  preference for musk perfume
  attracted by music
  sexual odors of
  beauty of
  among Chinese and Greeks
  origins of
  effects of, during hypnosis
  physiological influence of
  why it is pleasurable
  its sexual attraction among animals
  in man
  supposed therapeutic effects
  among savages for magic purposes
  for sake of beauty

Nasal mucous membrane and genital sphere
Nates as a feature of beauty
  significance of
  beauty of
  odor of
Negro ideas of beauty
  odor of
  mode of kissing
Neurasthenia and olfactory susceptibility
  in relation to pruritus
Nietzsche's supposed olfactory sensibility
Nipple as a sexual focus
Nose and sexual organs,
  supposed connection, between

  the oriental admiration for
  classification of
  as stimulants
  as medicines
  distinctive of various human races
  of sanctity
Odors of death
  of the body
Olfaction in relation to sexual selection
    (See "Odors" and "Smells.")
  the study of
Olfactory area of brain
Ooephorectomy and sense of smell
Orgasm as a skin reflex
  founded on tactile sensations
  produced by various tactile contacts
  its religious significance
  sexual significance of
Overall, Mrs.

  the sexual charm of
  odor of
Peau d'Espagne
  ancient use of
  sexual influence of
  results of excessive stimulation by
Persian ideal of beauty
Phallus worship
Pigmentation connected with intensity of odor
  in relation to beauty
  in relation to vigor
Polynesian dancing
Preferential mating
Pregnancy as an ideal of beauty
Primary sex characters as an element of beauty
Provencal ideal of beauty
  accompanied by increased interest in art
  olfactory sensibility at

Reeve, Pleasance
Renaissance type of beauty
Restif de la Bretonne
  as a stimulant
  the sense of

Saddleback as a feature of beauty
Salutation by smelling
Sanctity, odor of
  important part played by odor in their mental life
  sometimes beautiful
  their ideals of beauty
Secondary sexual characters in relation to sexual attraction
  odor of
Sexual differences in admiration of beauty
  in olfactory acuteness
  in urination
Shoe fetichism
Singalese ideal of beauty
Singing as affected by sexual emotion
  complexity of its functions
  antipathies aroused by
  its evolution
  sexual significance in animals
  its significance in man
  theory of
  special characteristics of
  as the sense of the imagination
  as distinctive of races and individuals
  hallucinations of
  in part the foundation of kiss
  results of its excessive stimulation
Sneezing and sexual stimulation
Spanish ideal of beauty
  saddle-back as an element of
Stanley, Lady Venetia
Statues, sexual love of
Statue in relation to beauty
  the admiration of women for
Suckling as a cause of perversion
  as a source of sexual emotion

  the admiration of
Taste no part in sexual selection
Thure-Brandt system of massage as a sexual stimulant
  not a simple reflex
  explainable by summation-irradiation theory
  in relation to the sexual embrace
  diminishes with age
  also after marriage
  of kiss
  in part, foundation of kiss
  the most primitive of all senses
  the first to prove pleasurable
  the most emotional sense
  foundation of sexual orgasm
Triangle as a sexual symbol
Tumescence as a necessary preliminary to sexual influence of odors
  the chief stimuli of

Urinary fetichism
  habits of sexes in
  its relations to breast

_Vair_, significance of term
Valerianic acid
Viguier, Paule de
Violet perfume
Voice as a source of sexual stimulation
Vulvar odor,
  alleged function of

Wagner's music,
  emotional effects of
  beauty of
  odor of Walt

Zola's olfactory sensibility

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